Your pet is at risk of being infected with various parasites such as ticks, heartworms, intestinal worms, fleas, lice and mites. Our veterinarians will be able to establish a safe and effective parasite prevention protocol adapted to your animal’s needs.
What is heartworm?
Unfortunately, heartworms are as disgusting as their name suggests – long worms that live in your dog's heart! The disease caused by heartworm, called dirofilariasis, can be fatal. Fortunately, it is easy to prevent.
How do animals become infected with heartworm?
Mosquitoes transmit the parasite by injecting heartworm larvae into the animal's skin. The larvae develop in the tissues and migrate to the heart, where they reach the adult stage. The adults live in the heart and the large blood vessels around the heart. They reproduce and release larvae into the bloodstream. These larvae are then ingested by a mosquito and transmitted to another animal.
What are the signs of heartworm infection?
Due to the stress exerted on the heart by adult worms, infected animals often show clinical signs of heart disease or heart failure, such as:
- Intolerance to exercise
- Loss of appetite
- Abdominal volume segmentation
How do veterinarians diagnose heartworm infection?
- Blood test to check for adult heartworms or larvae
- Cardiac X-ray or ultrasound
Can heartworm infection be treated?
Heartworm infection can be treated, but this treatment carries risks and its outcome is not guaranteed. Your dog will need to receive a series of arsenic injections and possibly even undergo surgery to remove the adult worms present in his heart. As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure.
When should I start administering preventive treatment to my animal?
Start preventive treatment against heartworm in the first months of life. There is a wide range of products available in the form of tablets, chewable cubes and solutions to apply to the skin. Your veterinarian will recommend the best product for your pet.