Heartworm is a life-threatening disease that is very easy to prevent and difficult to cure. Therefore, to keep your dog or cat in good health and save you costly medical bills, heartworm prevention is essential.
Heartworm is a disease that passed on to dogs and cats by a mosquito bite. According to Sheldon Rubin on Pets WebMD, heartworm has been reported in all 50 states in the U.S. He says that if you have mosquitos then your animals are at risk from heartworm.
Essential Do’s and Don’ts for Heartworm Prevention
So, when it comes to heartworm prevention for your pets, what are the essential do’s and don’ts to prevent heartworm disease?
- Visit your local vet to check for heartworm before any prevention medication is given. This is because if your pet is already infected, the heartworm prevention could make the condition worse.
- Keep up with monthly heartworm preventatives to reduce the risk of any infection.
- If your dog or cat has been diagnosed with heartworms, don’t allow them to exercise for 4-6 weeks.
- Call your vet if your pet seems unwell or starts coughing.
- Unless your vet tells you otherwise, keep up the heartworm prevention also during the winter months.
- Make sure that your pet has a yearly check up to check their general health and test for heartworms.
- Don’t think that your pets are safe just because they have a long coat or are kept indoors.
- Don’t assume that coughing is just a sign of asthma. Blood testing is needed to check for heartworms and the symptoms of asthma and heartworm disease are similar.
- Don’t forget to take your pet to the vet to have him/her re-tested for heartworms 3 – 4 months after treatment.
- Don’t forget that just because your dog or cat shows no visible symptoms of heartworm, it doesn’t mean that there is no infection.
Know the Symptoms of Heartworm Disease
- Dogs will tire easily and may cough.
- Weight loss
- Cats may suffer from difficulty in breathing.