Fleas, ticks, and other parasites can wreak havoc on your pet’s health, causing a variety of symptoms ranging from mild itching to more serious illness or disease. Fortunately, Loveland Regional Animal Hospital understands the importance of prevention and can provide annual testing to help protect your pet and keep them happy and healthy for years to come.
Have questions about parasite prevention for dogs or cats? Call Loveland Regional Animal Hospital today!
What Kind of Parasites Can Affect My Pet?
Parasite prevention is a critical component of your pet’s overall health, and it’s important to understand what kind parasites may affect your pet. We recommend annual testing and providing a monthly preventative medication to help ensure your pet is protected from any kind of parasite. If your pet tests positive, rest assured we can provide parasite treatment.
Common Questions About Heartworm
To help pet owners learn more about the risks of heartworm, we’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions.
These parasitic roundworms may not cause symptoms when dogs or cats are initially infected. As the infection develops, pets may exhibit a lack of appetite, weight loss, breathing problems and heart failure.
Mosquitos are the most common spread of heartworms, however not every mosquito carries heartworm. Mosquitos become carriers when they bite an infected animal and spread the disease to other animals it feeds on.
Luckily, pets don’t directly spread heartworms to one another, but they can become a source of infection for other pets in their home. That is why annual testing and preventative medications are so critical to maintaining your pet’s health and safety.
Yes, both dogs and cats are vulnerable to heartworm.
Dogs may not present any signs of heartworm disease when they are initially infected. As the infection develops, you may see any of the following symptoms:
- Mild cough
- Unwillingness to exercise
- Fatigue after normal activity
- Lack of appetite
- Weight loss
There may not be any visible symptoms of heartworm when cats are first infected. As the infection persists, you may notice signs such as:
- Asthma attacks
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
Blood testing can detect the heartworm antigen which causes an immune response. However, blood testing may not be conclusive if there isn’t a significant amount of antigen present. Other potential testing may include CBC, thyroid, X-rays, or echocardiograms to confirm a diagnosis.
Consistently providing your pet with a monthly preventative is the best way to keep your pets safe from heartworm. Another way is to keep mosquitos away from your pets by utilizing screens, keeping doors or windows securely shut, or reducing any stagnant water in or around your house.
Heartworms cannot survive in the human bloodstream. People may be infected with heartworm just like pets, but this parasite cannot live in humans.