Protecting Your Dog or Cat From Heartworms
Pet medication for heartworm prevention is one of the first suggestions that your vet is likely to give you when talking about the health and longevity of your pet. Every year, lots of pet owners are shocked to hear that their dog or cat has been infected by heartworms. These nasty worms are transmitted through mosquito bites on your pets skin, and can do serious damage to your dog or cats’ heart, lungs and blood vessels. Growing over time to nearly a foot long, they can cause heart failure, severe lung disease and damage other parts of the body as well. They start out small though, and it usually takes up to six or seven months for them to get to the adult stage.
Once they are adults, they can live for several years in dogs and a couple of years in cats. However, because they can live for so long, if no preventive measures are taken, a dog or cat can be reinfected in other years as well. Dogs can easily have hundreds of heartworms living in their bodies at a time. For cats, that number is drastically smaller, perhaps only two or three at a time. That is no consolation for cat owners though, since cats cannot be treated for heartworms using the same medication that dogs use. They simply have to suffer the effects of the heartworms. In cats, this can manifest itself as Heartworm Associated Respiratory Disease or HARD.
Treating pets infected with heartworms is not easy, but preventing heartworms altogether is! Pet medication to prevent heartworms is easier to give your pets than ever before. There are several pet medications today that include oral, topical and injectable options that can be given monthly for heartworm prevention.
The most popular choices are available at Cumberland Animal Hospital. We carry Heartguard, a monthly pill that is simply for heartworm prevention. We also offer the pill Trifexis, which not only prevents heartworms, but also kills fleas, ticks, and other parasites as well. Revolution is also a medication we carry for preventing heartworms, fleas, ticks and parasites, but it is in a topical form.
We strongly recommend that you consider heartworm prevention medication for your dog or cat. The price you pay for monthly prevention is nothing compared to the pain of watching your pet suffer from heartworms. Remember, there is no easy treatment plan once your pet is infected, but heartworm infection is easily avoidable using pet medication.