Over the last few months there have been a small handful of heartworm positive cases in the Macarthur region. Both our Camden and Bradbury clinics have treated positive cases.
In Sydney, any dog can get heartworm at any time of the year. All it takes is one mosquito bite! They can even contract heartworm playing safely in your own backyard or going for a simple walk around the block. Heartworm is a disease that is fatal. That’s why if you own a dog – then you MUST have him or her on regular heartworm prevention throughout their life – NO EXCEPTIONS! Give us a call to find out more about our easy once-a-year injection that will protect them from this deadly disease.
So…what is heartworm?
Heartworms are long, thin parasitic worms that look like strands of spaghetti. They are incredibly long – and can grow up to 30cm in length!! Heartworm causes thickening and blockage of the arteries in the lungs and can damage the major valves in the heart. Serious damage can occur before any signs of disease are noticed. Heartworm breed in the heart and their tiny larvae circulate throughout the bloodstream, damaging a variety of organs including the kidneys.
What are the symptoms of heartworm?
One of the classic signs of heartworm disease is a mild cough, but the first signs can be as vague as weight loss, poor hair coat or reduced fitness.
The scary thing is that Heartworm can actually live in a dog for several years before symptoms show and by that time – it’s often too late. No dog is safe from heartworm!
We offer a yearly injection, taking away the issues of having to give your dog monthly tablets.
Dogs greater than 6 months old must be blood-tested before starting on medication (to make sure that they are not already infected with heartworm). This also applies if they miss more than 6 months of medication. An important point to remember is that if treatment lapses for less than 6 months, it should be restarted ASAP, but a blood test will be needed 8 – 12 months later.
If you have any questions about heartworm disease or to book a test, please contact us.