Heartworm Disease Treatment from Our Veterinarian in Katy
If undetected, the parasitic worm Dirofilaria immitris (heartworms) can be a long-term, life-threatening problem in dogs, cats, and some other mammals. However, a pet exam and various tests by our professionals at Grand Park Animal Clinic in Katy can detect and treat pets suffering from heartworms.
How Dogs Get Heartworms
A pet gets this parasitic worm when a mosquito that carries it bites the animal. Adult worms live in the heart, lungs, and related blood vessels of pets. However, dogs are the perfect host for these worms. Dogs typically carry more of these worms than cats. It takes 6 to 7 months for heartworm larvae to mature into adults inside a dog. Infected dogs have from 1 to 250 worms, with 15 to 30 being common. These parasites can survive inside dogs from 5 to 7 years.
Testing for Heartworms in Dogs
Since not all canines have symptoms, testing is suggested for those 7 months or older unless our veterinarian recommends otherwise. Our pet doctor will advise you when your dog should be tested based on her age, lifestyle, and health. One blood test looks for the worm's antigens in the bloodstream, and another detects the microscopic offspring of adult female worms in the bloodstream.
Veterinary Treatment for Heartworms
If heartworms are found, our pet doctor in Katy can help. An injection is one course of action. Another is a topical medication for your dog's skin. However, these treatments sometimes have serious complications. Therefore, prevention is the better treatment. A dog must be tested for heartworms before starting preventive treatment because it does not kill heartworms. Preventive treatment may be an injection, products applied to the skin, or tablets taken orally. Dogs on preventive medications should be tested annually.
Heartworms in Cats
Heartworms can survive inside cats for from 2 to 4 years. Our pet doctor can use two kinds of blood tests in conjunction with a blood count for a diagnosis in cats. During the pet exam, a chest x-ray may be ordered. Additionally, an ultrasound is another diagnostic tool. Once your cat is infested with heartworms, it can be nearly impossible to treat. That's why heartworm prevention is crucial for maintaining your cat's health and wellness.
Contact Us for a Pet Exam from Our Veterinarian in Katy, TX
We hope that your dog or cat never has to deal with heartworms. That's why our team is here to provide quality preventative treatment for your pet. Here at Grand Park Animal Clinic in Katy, we help patients suffering from heartworms with expert medical attention. Whether your pet needs an annual exam, vaccines, or other health treatments, our team is here for both of you. Contact us to see how our veterinarian can help your pet stay safe from heartworms.