Pets can be troubled by a variety of parasites, both internal and external. Heartworms are tiny worms that can lodge and reproduce in the heart and lungs, causing serious health problems for your pet. Without heartworm treatment, it can be fatal for your animal. At Ashworth Road Animal Hospital, we have provided pet owners in West Des Moines, Windsor Heights, Clive, and Urbandale with heartworm prevention and treatment services for many years.
Understanding Heartworm Disease
Heartworm disease is transmitted through a bite of a mosquito. If a mosquito feeds on the blood of an infected animal, that mosquito can then transmit the disease to the next animal. Through the bite of the mosquito, microscopic larvae can gain entry into the bloodstream and travel to the heart and lungs. Once in the vital organs, the worms begin to reproduce, multiply, and grow. As the number of worms grows, the animal can show debilitating symptoms, such as coughing, poor body condition, and reluctance to exercise. Dogs are a natural host for heartworms, but cats can develop heartworm disease as well.
Heartworm Testing and Treatment
A blood test can detect the presence of heartworms in your pet’s body. If the test is positive, our veterinarians will go over your pet’s treatment plan. Treatment may require the use of approved medications, such as melarsomine, to help kill the developing worms in your animal’s system. Throughout your animal’s treatment, his or her activity must be severely limited to prevent damage to the body.
The best way to protect your pet against heartworm disease is to provide him or her with heartworm prevention. Our veterinarians in West Des Moines can prescribe the right medication for your animal. This can be administered orally, topically, or through a simple injection. Oral and topical medicines are given monthly while the injection is given every 12 months.
Protect Your Pet with Preventative Care
Our veterinarians help their pet patients in West Des Moines, Windsor Heights, Clive, and Urbandale enjoy a healthier, more active life by providing them with quality vet care. We provide many services, including exams, vaccinations, dental care, preventative care, diagnostics, surgery, and behavioral counseling. Call Ashworth Road Animal Hospital today at (515) 225-1807 for more information or to schedule an appointment with one of our veterinarians.