Heartworm and Parasite Prevention

Heartworm Prevention for your Pet in Cincinnati

Heartworm and parasite prevention is an important aspect of caring for your pet. Our Staff at Westside Animal Hospital have compiled important information about heartworms and parasite prevention to help you better understand parasites and the dangers they cause. Take the necessary steps to prevent heartworms from infecting your four-legged friend.  

Heartworm and Parasite Prevention

Dangers of Heartworms and Parasites

Heartworms are parasites that can cause blood vessels to become inflamed and blood flow to be blocked, all of which can lead to pulmonary thrombosis and heart failure. The disease can also cause kidney and liver failure. If caught early enough, most pets will recover from heartworms. Unfortunately, the worms can live about 6 years in dogs, so your pet may have these worms without you even knowing. That is just one of the many reasons why you should have your pet on regular heartworm and parasite prevention program.  

Symptoms of Heartworms

Early symptoms of heartworm infestation include:

  • Cough - A cough caused by heartworms is persistent and dry. The parasite moving to your pet’s lungs will cause discomfort and blockage.
  • Weight Loss - As the heartworms spread, your pet may experience loss of appetite, resulting in weight loss.
  • Lethargy - Your pet may also have low energy, and stop performing simple tasks and activities that they once loved.

As the damage progresses, your pet could experience the following middle stage symptoms:

  • Bulging Ribs - Fluid will begin to fill your pet’s lungs, causing your pet’s chest to appear protruded.
  • Difficulty Breathing - Fluid building up in the lungs will result in breathing difficulties for your pet.

When the heartworm disease reaches the late stages, your pet's symptoms will begin to worsen and they may also develop other issues, including: 

  • Heart Murmur
  • Abnormal Sounds in the Lungs
  • Enlarged Liver 

Heartworm Prevention

Heartworm treatment is a long and expensive process that often requires an extended recovery period for your pet. Furthermore, there is no guarantee that your pet will be free from the disease after treatment. Instead of putting them through the discomfort of a heartworm infestation, take the necessary steps to prevent them from getting heartworm disease by giving them heartworm preventives. The veterinarian will discuss the different types of heartworm prevention options available, as well as give you recommendations on which they prefer for your pet. 

Veterinarian Care for Parasite Prevention

If your pet isn't currently on a parasite prevention program, contact Westside Animal Hospital in Cincinnati, OH. Our veterinarians will create a heartworm prevention plan tailored to your pet’s needs. Call us today at (513) 574-5000 for more information or to schedule an appointment with our veterinarian.