A heartworm infestation is a serious condition. At Annapolis Veterinary & Wellness, we take heartworms seriously. Whether your pet is young, middle-aged, or in its senior years, heartworms can be fatal if not treated promptly. At our Annapolis facility, our veterinarian will check your pet for parasites and recommend a heartworm prevention plan.
Signs of Heartworms
Heartworms are known to be an issue for dogs and cats any time of year. In the early stages, heartworm infestation is difficult to detect. There are several symptoms of heartworm to be on the lookout for if your pet is not on preventative treatment. While preventative treatments for dogs are different for cats, the following symptoms are typical for both:
- A mild but persistent cough
- Decreased appetite
- Weight loss
- Low energy levels
- Avoiding exercise
- Signs of fatigue after moderate activity
- Shortness of breath
- Less playful
- Fainting or collapsing
Additional symptoms a dog may display include a swollen abdomen, pale gums, and dark or bloody urine. Cats may also show additional signs, such as asthma-like attacks, mobility difficulty, seizures, occasional vomiting, and fluid accumulation.
Our veterinarian can determine if your pet is infected with heartworm by doing a blood test. The results of the test let our vet know if heartworm proteins are present. If they are, more tests may be necessary, such as x-rays and ultrasounds, to determine the extent of the infestation so a treatment plan can be developed. Your pet must be tested for heartworm while they are in their earliest stages, which means bringing in your pet as soon as possible. The longer the worms are affecting your pet, the more serious of an effect they will have on your pet’s health. Untreated heartworms are often fatal.
Heartworm preventatives can be easily administered in a couple of ways. These include oral medications that resemble a chewable treat given monthly and topical medications that also kill fleas. Our veterinarian will recommend the heartworm prevention medication that will be most effective for your pet.
Schedule an Appointment with Our Veterinarian for Heartworm Prevention in Annapolis, MD
At Annapolis Veterinary & Wellness, we have provided pet owners in Annapolis, MD, with reliable heartworm prevention services for many years. Call us at (410) 224-6624 for more information or to schedule an appointment with our veterinarian.