Heartworm infection occurs when a parasitic worm attacks pets. It can cause severe illness. Mosquitoes transmit the blood-borne parasite. The larvae pass into the bloodstream, making their way to the heart. The infection can cause fatal heart and lung problems if not detected and treated. Arid climates are considered low-risk for heartworm infections, but they can still happen.
Several signs can indicate your pet may have heartworm disease. They include:
Pets with underlying health conditions exhibit more severe symptoms than healthy animals.
Reno’s arid location is generally considered low-risk for heartworm infections. Mosquitoes are not prevalent in desert-like climates. But pets traveling with their human companions expose them to infections.
Studies have shown that mosquitoes can be found in every state and in all seasons. A simple fecal flotation test can check for intestinal parasites in the pet’s stool. Fecal tests are often conducted as part of regular annual wellness exams. A blood test can also help detect heartworm infection.
The best and most effective way to prevent heartworm infection is by using preventative medication. Various products can help prevent infection and can be administered orally or topically.
Using prevention medication is more cost-effective than treating illnesses caused by heartworm infection. Your vet can recommend the best products for your pet, which could make a difference in your pet’s life.
Mosquitoes are the main culprit in spreading heartworms. All it takes to spread heartworms is one mosquito. Keeping your home and yard mosquito-free will help keep away the disease-causing parasites. Remove any stagnant water around your home and property. You can also spray pet-friendly insecticides around the yard to keep the bugs away. Talk to your vet about the best pest-control products to keep your home safe. Burning citronella candles can help keep away mosquitoes.
Regular visits to the vet will keep your pet happy and healthy. Your vet will recommend a vaccine schedule for your pet based on age and location. The vet will also conduct routine testing to ensure your pet is safe.
If you suspect your pet has been exposed to mosquitoes, visit the vet as soon as possible. If your pet is infected, early detection is vital for effective treatment. The vet will create the best treatment plan for your pet to prevent life-threatening consequences.
Heartworm disease is prevalent throughout the state and most parts of the country. Even for those who do not travel, veterinarians recommend regular heartworm testing. There have been cases of dogs—with no history of travel outside Reno or beyond the surrounding area—being infected.
Some believe that garlic can help prevent heartworm. Adding garlic to your dog’s diet can provide natural infection prevention. Talk to your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet.
For more information on protecting your pet from heartworm infection, visit Peavine Animal Hospital at our Reno, Nevada, office. Call (775) 800-1294 to schedule an appointment today.