Frequently asked questions addressed to our doctors and staff.
Why should my dog and cat be on heartworm preventative?
Heartworms are a parasite that is carried by mosquitos from one dog to another, it can also infect cats. It is also seen in coyotes and wolves. In this part of the country heartworm infection is very common. We have a lot of mosquitoes that are present a large part of the year. Many different species of mosquitoes can carry the infective micrfilaria from dog to dog or dog to cat. There are even some mosquitoes that prefer to be inside a building, so just because your dog or cat stays inside all or most of the time it can get infected.
Heartworms live in the right side of the heart and the vessels that go to the lungs. There can be enough worms present to cause major damage to the heart and lungs, and even cause major intereference and blockages of blood flow from the right side of the heart to the lungs. Worms can be int he vessels of the lungs and cause damage there also.
There is an easy way to keep your dog and cat from gettin infected with heartworms-other than putting them in a plastic bubble! Heartworm prreventative is a medication that is given once a mouth, there are oral forms and also a topical application that goes through the skin and into the blood stream. Far dogs there is an injection that is given every 6 months so you don’t even have to worry about a monthly medication-we will send you a reminder when another injection is needed.
If your dog gets heatworms, the treatment lasts about 3-4 months, during which your dog needs to be kept quiet with as little activity as possible. There is some risk of complications during treatment, not as much as there was years ago, but still the risk is present. If you don’t treat, there will be damage and risks from the heartworm infection. Treatment is also expensive-for a small dog it can start at around $500, for a large dog it may be $800-1000. There is no successful treatment for cats, a lot of times we can’t tell if a cat has heartworms until there is serious illness or sudden death.
So to protect your dog and cat, use a heartworm preventative regularly, all year long. Most of the preventatives also prevent intestinal parasites, some have added flea control medication also. So make sure you do it!!
WWW. veterinarypartner.com website for good information on a lot of subjects.
Can I make an appointment online?
Yes. Fill in the box below including your contact information (email or phone number) and your preferred time and date for an appointment and submit the form. Out staff will schedule an appointment for you and notify you of the time and date.