Why Is Heartworm Disease and Why Should You Test for It?
Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal disease that is prevalent all over the United States. It is caused by worms that live in the heart lungs and blood vessels of affected pets and is spread by mosquitos that bite an infected pet and then in turn bite another non-infected pet. Heartworms can affect household pets such as dogs, cats and ferrets, but they are also found in wild animals such as wolves, coyotes, and foxes.
Testing for heartworms is easy, it requires only a small amount of blood drawn from the pet, takes just about ten minutes, and can be done right in the office. Testing your pet for heartworms should be done at least once a year, and prior to putting your pet on heartworm prevention. After your pet has been tested they should be put on monthly heartworm prevention and kept on it every month, 12 months a year, for the rest of their life to keep them protected.
If left unprotected, heartworm disease can cause long lasting damage to the heart, lungs, and arteries, and can greatly reduce the pet’s length and quality of life. They can also get respiratory disease, heart, and lung failure from heartworm disease that is left untreated.