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4 Things Dog Owners Need to Know About Heartworms

Did you know that April is Heartworm Awareness Month? Heartworms pose a very serious risk to our canine buddies! Fido can get very sick if he is infested with heartworms. In fact, heartworms can even be deadly! Read on as a local Greensboro, NC vet lists some important things you should know about these dangerous parasites.

Heartworms Are Transmitted By Mosquitos

Your pup won’t catch heartworms directly from other dogs: the worms are transmitted by mosquitos. Heartworms can be found in any state that has mosquitos. Since mosquitos are pretty much everywhere, this means Fido can get infested at any time, or in any place. Your four-legged friend can even be bitten by an infected bug while he’s indoors! All it takes is one bite for your furry pal to contract heartworms.

Heartworms Can Be Fatal

As heartworms grow, they infest their host’s heart, lungs, and blood vessels, and interfere with the functions of these vital organs. Since the worms are in larval stage during the initial infestation, you probably won’t notice any symptoms right away. Within a few months, Fido may show mild symptoms, such as coughing and getting tired easily, but as the infestation really takes root, his symptoms will become more severe. Your canine buddy could cough up blood or faint, and can even suffer a heart attack. Unfortunately, heartworm infestations can be deadly.

How Heartworms Can Be Treated

While some cases of heartworm are treatable, the treatment can be quite costly. The treatment can also be tough on your furry pal. Fido may need to be kenneled to restrict his movements during the process, and may need to take some very strong medicine. In severe cases, surgery could be required. It’s much, much easier to protect your loyal canine friend from heartworms than it is to treat him for them!

Heartworm Prevention Works

As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. This is definitely the case with heartworms! Fortunately, you can keep your canine buddy safe from heartworms simply by giving him his heartworm medications on time. Ask your vet for specific information on heartworm prevention products and applications.

Does your pet need veterinary care? We can help! Please feel free to contact us, your local Greensboro, NC animal clinic, anytime. We are here to serve all of your pet’s veterinary care needs.

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