Heartworm in cats and dogs can be a potentially fatal disease that is very preventable. Heartworm is transmitted by mosquitos and is causes large worms to infest animals’ heart, lungs, or arteries. Heartworms can cause fatigue, weight loss, a decreased appetite, and lethargy. If left untreated, heartworm may even prove to be fatal for your pet.
Heartworm is a disease that can be successfully treated in pets. However, it is much easier to prevent your pet from contracting the potentially life-threating disease. This can save your pet months of discomfort and also help you avoid costly vet bills.
Although heartworm mostly affects dogs, your cat can also contract heartworm.
Let’s look at some practical ways that you can prevent heartworm in your pet.
1. Testing for heartworm
If you have never taken any preventative measures to protect your pet, you should arrange to get your pet cat or dog tested for the disease. This is especially important if you have noticed any changes in your pet’s behavior.
2. Heartworm prevention medication
The best way for your pet to avoid the health risks associated with heartworm is to regularly administer prevention medication. This is usually in the form of chewable tablets that you give your pet every month. Some types of heartworm prevention meds only require administering every 6 months.
3. Year-round heartworm prevention
Although mosquitos are generally inactive in winter months, it is still recommended to keep up with your heartworm prevention strategy all year. Some heartworm medication also helps protect your pet from other parasites.
4. Get yearly checkups
To look after the health of your pet, it is essential to arrange for yearly checkups to monitor your pet’s health. No heartworm prevention medication is 100% effective and there is always a risk of the disease affecting your pet. Also, yearly checkups allow your vet to spot early signs of other conditions that could affect your pet cat or dog.