You love your four-legged friend, and you want to keep him happy and healthy. An important part of these efforts is protecting him from heartworm disease. How can you do this? Your veterinarian in Egg Harbor Township, NJ can help.
Start with the following steps to prevent and treat heartworm disease. These simple tips can help the furriest member of your family look and feel her best:
- Know the risk: Because they usually spend more time outside, dogs are typically at greater risk of heartworm than cats (though both should be treated). While summer is a higher-risk season, this condition can be acquired at any time of year. This makes year-round prevention efforts important for both dogs and cats.
- Start early: Cats and dogs can and should start preventative medication for heartworm at an early age. For puppies, begin the medication at eight weeks old. If the puppy is already over six months old, test him before you start the medication. This involves a simple blood test that can detect the presence of heartworm. For kittens, you should also start preventative heartworm medication at eight weeks old.
- Choose prevention over treatment: Heartworm is much easier to prevent than to treat. In fact, for cats, no effective heartworm treatment is available once they test positive. With this in mind, it’s important to take steps to prevent the presence of heartworms. Keep in mind that indoor pets can get heartworm disease, too. The most common route of transmission is the bite of an infected mosquito, and it’s easy for these pests to get inside your home.
- Provide regular treatment: Medication for heartworm prevention is available in a variety of forms. You can give your pet a pill, apply topical medication or get an injection from your veterinarian in Egg Harbor Township, NJ. All of the medications work by eliminating the heartworm parasite at its earliest stages, before it can harmfully infect your pet. To stop the larvae before they grow, it’s important to apply medication on a strict schedule.
- Watch for signs: When a dog has heartworm, a parasite is living in his heart. This results in a few common symptoms, including fatigue, lethargy, loss of appetite, vomiting, weight loss and coughing. If you notice these symptoms in your pet, contact your local veterinarian in Egg Harbor Township, NJ for treatment.
- Test regularly: To detect heartworm as soon as possible, have your pet tested regularly. Your friend should be tested six months after your initial visit to the veterinarian in Egg Harbor Township, NJ, then again six months after that, and yearly from then on, to make sure they remain heartworm-free. This testing should be completed even if your pet is on year-round prevention treatment.
Protect Your Pet
Is your furry friend on a regimen to protect her from heartworm? To find out which solution is best for your pet, consult with your veterinarian in Egg Harbor Township, NJ. By partnering with this professional, you can ensure your pet receives the prevention he needs to keep him feeling his best. Contact the friendly staff at Newkirk Family Veterinarians today to get started.