Heartworm Prevention at Your Local Brooklyn Veterinarian Clinic
Clinton Hill Animal Clinic knows that heartworm prevention should be one of the most important concerns dog owners have. While heartworms can infect other types of animal species, such as cats, dogs are the most susceptible of the common companion pet species. Once infected, a dog with heartworms can have existing heartworms removed but those that grew in their heart and lungs will leave lasting damage that cannot be fixed. This makes heartworm prevention a critical component of dog health and wellness.
Understanding Heartworms and the Threat They Pose
Heartworms are a type of parasitic worm that gets spread via mosquito bites, and those carrier mosquitoes have been found in every state. Once an infected mosquito bites a dog, they transfer the parasite into the dog's bloodstream. From there, the heartworms grow in the dog and spreads into their lungs, heart, and other cardiac organs, and it is their growth that is one of the biggest problems. Adult heartworms look like strands of cooked spaghetti and they can be as long as 12 inches in length. Unfortunately, those long bodies end up blocking and eating away at your dog's critical organs.
Preventing Heartworm Disease
Once in your dog, heartworms can be difficult to remove and can have lasting negative health consequences on your dog. The good news is that preventing heartworms from ever entering your dog's bloodstream is easy, so long as you follow your local veterinary office or animal hospital’s recommendations.
First, always have your pets tested once a year for the presence of heartworms during their annual check-up. Once your dog has been cleared of heartworms, your veterinarian will talk to you about heartworm preventatives. There are a ton of fantastic products out on the market today, with all of them separated generally into two categories, topical and oral heartworm preventatives.
- Topical heartworm prevention: Topical heartworm prevention products come in a liquid or gel-like format so that dog owners can easily apply the product directly to the skin at the back of their dog's neck. Once applied, topical heartworm preventatives will absorb into the dog's body and kill any existing immature parasites.
- Oral heartworm prevention: Oral heartworm prevention products come in a chewable tablet form. Most brands use tasty flavors to make it easier for owners to get their dogs to eat them. Like topical heartworm preventatives, oral products should be given on a monthly basis.
Schedule Your Dog for a Heartworm Test Today
Finding the right heartworm veterinary care for your pet isn't always easy. Contact our Brooklyn veterinarian team at Clinton Hill Animal Clinic today to schedule an appointment to have your pet tested. While you’re here, you can learn more about the different prevention medications that are available and receive a recommendation on which one is best for your pet.