America’s #1 Dog Killer: The Importance of Heartworm Prevention

As pet owners, we all want to provide our furry friends with the best possible care. We feed them, bathe them, and take them for walks, but what about protecting them from deadly diseases like heartworm? April is Heartworm Awareness Month, and it’s the perfect time to learn about this silent killer and how we can prevent it from harming our beloved pets.

What is Heartworm In Pets?

Heartworm disease is caused by a parasite called Dirofilaria immitis. It is transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito and can affect dogs, cats, and other animals. While heartworms are more prevalent in dogs, they can also cause serious health problems in cats, such as respiratory distress and vomiting. In severe cases, heartworms can lead to heart failure and even death.

Heartworms can grow up to 12 inches long and live inside a pet’s heart, lungs, and blood vessels. The adult worms produce microfilariae, which circulate in the pet’s bloodstream and can be picked up by mosquitoes, starting the cycle all over again.


What Are The Symptoms Of Heartworm Disease?

It can take several months for a pet to show signs of heartworm disease, and by then, the damage may already be done. Symptoms can include coughing, lethargy, weight loss, and difficulty breathing. In severe cases, pets may collapse, have a seizure, or go into shock. Unfortunately, by the time symptoms appear, the disease may have progressed to a point where it is more difficult to treat.

Preventing Heartworm Disease

The good news is that heartworm disease is preventable. By giving your pet a monthly heartworm preventative medication, you can protect them from this deadly disease. These medications are safe, effective, and easy to administer. It’s important to note that heartworm preventatives should be given year-round, even in the winter months when mosquitoes may not be as prevalent.

Preventative Pet Care At Signature Veterinary Services in South Orange County, San Diego

At Signature Veterinary Services in South Orange County, California, we believe in the power of prevention. Our experienced veterinarians can provide your pet with heartworm testing and preventative treatment. We offer a range of options, including chewable tablets, topical solutions, and injections. We will work with you to determine the best option for your pet’s needs and lifestyle.

As we celebrate Heartworm Awareness Month, we encourage pet owners to take action and protect their furry friends from this deadly disease. Schedule an appointment with Signature Veterinary Services today to ensure your pet stays healthy and happy for years to come.