Heartworm disease is very serious for pets, as it can result in heart failure, lung disease and even death. Heartworms are spread through mosquito bites, which results in worms producing offspring inside your pet. These worms live in the heart, lungs and blood vessels of an infected animal.
Heartworm in Dogs
When an infected mosquito bites a dog, the mosquito spreads the larvae of heartworms to the dog through the bite wound. For the now newly infected dog, it usually takes about six or seven months for the larvae to develop into adult heartworms, which then mate, causing the female to release their offspring into the dog’s bloodstream. Heartworm disease is not contagious and is only spread through the bite of a mosquito. Once inside a dog, a heartworm’s lifespan is five to seven years.
Heartworm in Cats
Cats can get heartworm after being bitten by an infected mosquito, however they are not as susceptible to it as dogs are—the worms don’t thrive as well inside a cat’s body. Both indoor and outdoor cats are at risk for heartworm disease. Heartworms don’t live as long or grow as long in cats as they do in dogs, and fewer of the worms mature into adults. Cats with heartworm disease may have symptoms that resemble other feline diseases—these include vomiting, loss of appetite and activity and weight loss.
The best—and cheapest—treatment for heartworm is prevention! At Family VetCare, we recommend ProHeart 6—ask us about this great product today!
If you’d like to learn more about this treatment or more about heartworm disease prevention, contact us today!