Your pet will need a pet exam to check for various conditions, including heartworm disease. Heartworm disease is a somewhat common problem among cats and dogs, with at least 100,000 cases of heartworm being reported in dogs each year. Because of its rising prevalence among animals, it is becoming increasingly necessary for pet owners to use heartworm prevention. If your cat or dog is not taking heartworm preventative products and you live in or around Summit, NJ, contact Summit Dog and Cat Hospital to schedule an appointment with one of our veterinarians.
Diagnosing Heartworm Disease
Before treating an animal with heartworm, the veterinarian will first need to identify the disease. Medically known as Dirofilaria immitis, this parasitic worm digs into an animal's cardiovascular system and the resulting damage affects the host's heart, lungs, and muscle tissue. When left untreated, the organ damage can be fatal, making it necessary to detect the parasite in its early stages.
Heartworm disease can manifest as coughing fits, difficulty breathing, fatigue, and a reduced appetite. If your pet is showing any of these symptoms for longer than a few weeks, then it is time for a visit to the vet's office. A certified veterinarian can perform a thorough pet exam to diagnose the problem. A proper diagnosis may require special imaging services such as ultrasound or CT scans.
Treatments for Heartworm Disease
Once the condition is diagnosed, the veterinarian will create a treatment plan. The most popular preventative option is for the pet to take medication that will slow down or eliminate the spread of heartworm. There are a variety of medications available for heartworm prevention, from ivermectin to Moxidectin.
Surgery is another option for more severe cases, with animals undergoing heartworm extractions through a cardiological procedure. Surgical procedures are usually reserved for more extreme cases. To learn about the best treatment plan for your pet, consult with one of our veterinarians at Summit Dog and Cat Hospital.
Get Heartworm Prevention for Your Pet in Summit, NJ
If you have concerns about your dog or cat’s health or your pet isn’t on a form of heartworm prevention, contact Summit Dog and Cat Hospital to book an appointment with one of our veterinarians. We are happy to answer any questions and help your furry friend stay protected from heartworms. Call our team today at (908) 273-2200 or reach us through our website by using our online contact form.