Heartworms are pesky parasites that your pet can get from mosquitoes. Basically, it is a long slender worm that can grow up to 12 inches long. They are known to infect cats, ferrets and man’s best friend. The worms like to live in the right side of a pet’s heart and can cause damage to the heart and lungs, sometimes before your pet even shows symptoms of the disease.

Luckily you can prevent this disease with injectable or topical treatments and or a pill once a month. I tend to use the topical, as I think they provide fewer side effects than the shots or pills. If you are going to go the shot or pill route, you will need to contact your vet. Most of them will do a blood test to make sure your pet is free of the disease before prescribing any form of them.

If your pet has heartworms, symptoms include coughing, fainting, excessive panting, chronic vomiting and he or she may not tolerate long walks without tiring easily. Outdoor pets are more at risk of mosquito bites but any pet anywhere can get a mosquito bite — even indoors. It only takes one bite from an infected mosquito, so no pet is completely safe. Heartworm is more dangerous in cats and ferrets, as they are harder to treat.

You should have your vet test for your pet for heartworm every 6 months just to be safe. The earlier the disease is caught, the safer the treatment is for your pet. It is just a simple blood test. If your pet tests positive, additional tests may be needed to determine how bad the infection is. Your pet deserves a long and healthy life help your best friend live longer and get them tested.


Carole Bigwood

My name is Carole Bigwood I am an avid animal lover. Avid animal lover of all shapes and sizes. I am the one who breaks for a squirrel or stops to save a lost pet. Yep, I have a leash and treats on me at all times. I can't wait to share some great rescue stories and some need to know health and safety tips for pets. Some of you may have seen one of my fashion shows for rescues I have every year. For years now I have been designing fashions for pets at www.wildchildpetfashions.com. My runway models are from local rescues and a few special guest pets. Always striving to make them as cute as can be so they will find a family of their own. My reward is to learn how many found homes afterwards. We have some great rescues in the NW. Being raised around pets livestock and little critters has given me a challenge that is rewarding to say the least. My genuine love of animals, has given me a vast knowledge of everything pet related. While my focus will be pet health related and rescues in our area, I look forward to sharing stories and articles on health and rescues that may come in handy. Making a the world a safe place for animals and humans alike. Looking forward to sharing my stories with fellow animal lovers everywhere.

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