How to prevent and treat heartworm in dogs and cats
Preventing Heartworm in Dogs and Cats
Heartworm is a parasitic disease that is usually transmitted to dogs and cats through mosquito bites. If left untreated, it can cause serious health problems and even death. However, it is possible to prevent heartworm by taking the following steps:
1. Use preventative medication: Your veterinarian will prescribe a medication that can be given orally, topically, or by injection. These medications kill the immature heartworm larvae and prevent them from maturing into adult heartworms.
2. Eliminate standing water: Mosquitoes require water to breed, so eliminating standing water around your home and yard can reduce the mosquito population.
3. Use mosquito repellent: When taking your dog or cat outside, use a mosquito repellent that is specifically formulated for pets. Do not use human products as they may be toxic to your pet.
Treating Heartworm in Dogs and Cats
If your dog or cat has tested positive for heartworm, it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible. Treatment may include the following:
1. Medication: Your veterinarian may prescribe medication to kill the adult heartworms. This medication must be administered carefully and under close supervision as it can cause serious side effects.
2. Rest: Dogs and cats with heartworm may need to rest for several weeks after treatment in order to allow their bodies to recover.
3. Follow-up testing: Your pet will need to be retested after treatment to ensure that all of the heartworms have been eliminated.
Heartworm is a serious condition that can be prevented with the proper care and attention. By taking preventative measures and seeking treatment quickly, you can help keep your pet healthy and happy.