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Heartworm Prevention for Dogs

April is Heartworm Awareness Month—it’s one of the most dangerous health issues out there for our canine companions! (Heartworm can also affect cats, but serious infestations are very rare because cats don’t make ideal hosts for the parasite.) Below, learn about some of the basics of heartworm prevention from an Anderson, IN veterinarian.

Why is Heartworm Prevention Important?

Preventing heartworm is far easier, less expensive, and less worrisome than treating an infestation after it’s happened. Treatment can take months on end, and it’s not a guaranteed fix—unfortunately, some dogs don’t survive if the heartworm infestation is not caught and treated early enough. The treatment process itself even poses a few risks: killing off adult heartworms can obstruct blood flow through your dog’s body, and you might see symptoms like coughing, fever, collapse, and worse! Prevention, on the other hand, doesn’t pose any risks at all.

What’s Better: Seasonal or Year-Round Prevention?

Certain heartworm preventatives are given to pets year-round, while others are designed for seasonal use. Most of the time, veterinarians recommend keeping your pet on a year-round medication to play it safe; it’s possible for infestations to occur even in the colder months. Plus, heartworm medications help protect your dog from a wide variety of other intestinal parasites, including some that may be able to be transmitted to humans!

If you would like to know more about seasonal versus year-round heartworm prevention, contact your veterinarian for further information. He or she will be able to direct you toward a choice that suits your pet’s healthcare needs.

What is Heartworm Medication Like?

Heartworm preventatives can come in a few versions. A topical gel is perhaps the most common; this gets applied to your dog’s skin once a month or every few months. Chewable tablets or pills are also common, usually given on a monthly basis, and there are even injectable heartworm preventatives that can be administered by your veterinary professional at the vet’s office.

Wondering what type of heartworm preventative will suit your canine companion? Call your vet’s office today to learn more.

How Do I Get Heartworm Preventatives?

Do you have more questions about heartworms and preventing the issue to keep your dog happy and healthy? Does your dog need set up with the proper preventative medicines? We’re here to help with all of your pet-care needs! Schedule an appointment today with your Anderson, IN animal hospital.

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