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Heartworm Prevention Tips: National Heartworm Awareness Month

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Did you know that this month is National Heartworm Awareness Month? With summer and mosquito season coming up quickly, there's never been a better opportunity to familiarize yourself with this devastating illness and discover how to protect your four-legged friend. Here at Maynard Animal Hospital, our compassionate veterinarians provide heartworm prevention for pets in Cary and the surrounding areas and are here to help you give your dog the healthy, disease-free life they deserve. Keep scrolling to discover more about heartworm and how you can prevent it.  

What Is Heartworm?

Heartworm disease occurs when a dog or another animal is bitten by an infected mosquito. Once inside a host, the parasites reach up to 12 inches in length and live in the heart, lungs, and blood vessels, resulting in irreparable damage. When left untreated, the worms keep growing and multiplying, leading to further issues, like poor general health and, in some cases, a much shorter life expectancy.

Heartworm disease causes several symptoms, including:

  • Cough
  • Fatigue after even light exercise
  • Weight loss
  • Decreased appetite
  • Bloated abdomen
  • Light-colored gums
  • Labored breathing

How to Prevent Heartworm

Heartworm disease is difficult to treat and causes lasting damage to the organs. Because of this, preventing the illness is a much better option than attempting to treat it. Heartworm prevention medications are available in numerous forms, including chewable pills, injectable medications, and topicals.

According to the American Heartworm Society, you should keep your dog on heartworm preventatives year-round. Annual heartworm testing is important for dogs, too — even those on heartworm preventatives. While extremely effective, no preventative provides 100% guaranteed protection. Annual testing allows vets to begin appropriate treatment immediately if heartworms are detected.

Protect Your Dog with Heartworm Prevention in Cary

If your fur baby needs heartworm prevention in Cary, we can help. Our veterinarians offer heartworm testing and will help you decide what type of medication is most suitable for your beloved pet. With our help, they'll enjoy a long, healthy life free from parasites. Call to make your dog's appointment with our friendly team.

 

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