Heartworm disease can be fatal and is always serious when pets contract it. Heartworms are worms that measure a foot long, which live in the lungs, heart, and blood vessels of some pets. They can cause heart failure, lung disease, and organ damage. These worms can impact cats and dogs. They can also live in other mammals, such as foxes and wolves. It can be more dangerous to dogs than cats because dogs are a better host.
Worms can grow to adults, mate, and have offspring in the dog’s body. Baby worms are microscopic and can be transmitted by mosquitoes. Once the baby worms are in the host, it only takes about six months for them to grow into adults. If you think your pet has heartworms and you are in the Loveland, CO area, visit our veterinarians at Boyd Lake Veterinary Center.
The Symptoms of Heartworm Disease
For dogs, they may not show any symptoms in the beginning. The longer the dog has the disease, the worse the symptoms will become over time. Your dog may have symptoms such as a cough that is usually mild, fatigue, weight loss, no desire to exercise, and loss of appetite. As the disease becomes worse, your dog may have heart failure and fluid in the stomach causing swelling. Your dog may also have difficulty breathing or dark urine.
For cats, the symptoms may be non-existent or severe. Your cat may have a cough, vomiting, weight loss, or no appetite. You may also see that your cat has problems walking, fainting, seizures, or fluid build in the stomach.
Heartworm disease is serious and progressive. However, there is good news in that you can give your pet preventative treatment every month. You should also have your pet tested once per year for heartworm, even if your pet does not have symptoms. The test requires the veterinarian to take a small amount of blood from your pet. We check the blood for proteins from heartworms. The results of this test come back quickly.
Choose Boyd Lake Veterinary Center
At Boyd Lake Veterinary Center, we understand how much you love your pets. We know that by visiting our office, you are trusting us to care for your pets when they are sick and to administer the preventative care needed to keep them healthy as well. Call us today at 970-593-1717 to schedule an appointment with one of our veterinarians.