Heartworms can cause deadly, irreversible damage to the vital organs. While this parasite can infect many species of animals, it is especially common in dogs in the Southeastern United States. Cats are not the primary host but can on rare occasions be infected with heartworms which can lead to sudden death. Many preventative medications are available for your dogs and cats. Your Braelinn Animal Hospital veterinarian can discuss the right preventative treatment plan with you. Routine testing for heartworms is recommended. Early detection of the presence of heartworms is critical. If your pet tests positive for heartworms your Braelinn Animal Hospital veterinarian can determine the severity and extent of the infection as well as the damage that may have been done to the heart and other organs. A simple blood test can initially detect an infection, then further testing, such as radiography or echocardiography, may be used to determine the extent of the infection, severity or damage.
If you are unsure of your pet’s heartworm testing or treatment history, call Braelinn Animal Hospital to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian.