Heartworms are among one of the most dangerous parasites to pets. Fortunately, heartworms are nearly 100% preventable. The heartworm parasite is transferred to your pet from a mosquito. Heartworm larva is deposited onto your pet while the mosquito is feeding. Once the heartworms mature, they migrate to your pet’s heart and large blood vessels of the lungs. Once in the heart, the heartworms can alter your pet’s circulation of blood. The early stages of the disease show minimal symptoms, but if left untreated the progression of the disease can be fatal. The most common means for diagnosing heartworms is through bloodwork analysis. Other diagnostic methods include blood tests of the kidney and liver function, x-rays of the chest cavity, and an ultrasound (sonogram) of the heart. All pets are susceptible to contracting heartworms, but dogs are infected at a much higher rate than cats.  The Westgate Animal Clinic offers multiple heartworm prevention methods for both dogs and cats.

Category: Maintaining Your Pet's Health

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