April is Heartworm Prevention Month

Protect Your Dog from Heartworm -

Hermosa Beach Veterinarians

Our veterinarians offer a variety of treatment products to prevent heartworm infection in your dog. Our heartworm prevention products are highly effective and very affordable. When heartworm prevention treatments are administered properly and on a regular maintenance schedule., heartworm can be prevented 100% of the time! So, if your pet is not up to date on their heartworm prevention medication, please schedule an appointment to have a prevention treatment prescribed by a veterinarian as soon as possible.

What are Heartworms? Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach, Hawthorne, Torrance Vets

Heartworms are parasites that infect a pet’s blood vessels and heart. Though most commonly seen in dogs, they are able to infect many other species, including cats and even people.

Heartworms are transmitted by mosquito bites. The worm enters the bloodstream and lives within the blood vessels and heart of the infected animal. As larvae, they are microscopic, but through a series of molts they can reach approximately a foot in length. They are very hardy, and can survive in a dog for up to 7 years – creating an excruciatingly painful condition for your pet.

Is Heartworm a Serious Disease? Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach

Heartworm disease is extremely serious – and can even be fatal if not treated. The size and number of the worms can block the pathway of blood through the heart, veins and arteries, and induce inflammation in the blood vessels and the lining of the heart. This results in poor blood oxygenation that is similar in many ways to heart failure. Heartworm can also damage the lungs, liver and kidneys.

How Do I Know if My Dog or Cat Has Heartworms? Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach, Hawthorne, Torrance

Lethargy (lack of energy), shortness of breath and loss of apetite are just a few of the most common symptoms of heartworm infection. If you are concerned about these – or any – changes in your pet’s behavior, please schedule an appointment to have them examined by a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Heartworm can be detected by your veterinarian about six to seven months after the pet has been infected - using special blood tests. There are 2 types of blood tests used by veterinarians to identify heartworm. One blood test looks for proteins released by the heartworms. The other test screens for the microscopic heartworm larvae. One or both tests may be necessary or recommended by your veterinarian, depending upon the pet.

Can Heartworm Disease be Treated or Prevented?Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach, Hawthorne, Torrance Veterinarian

The number of heartworm cases in California has increased over recent decades. Though California is not typically a “mosquito state,” the recent heavy rains of 2016 and 2017 have created more breeding areas for mosquitoes. While veterinarians can successfully treat canine heartworm, prevention of the disease is safer, cheaper and much less painful for your dog. The best treatment for your dog is to discuss a complete, year-round, parasite-control program with your veterinarian.

Our veterinarians offer a variety of safe, easy, and affordable options for preventing heartworm infection. Both monthly tablets/chewables and monthly topicals may be recommended by our experienced and caring veterinarians.

What About Over the Counter Heartworm Treatments?

A number of heartworm prevention treatments are available “over the counter”, both online and in pet stores. These, however, can be dangerous to use without the guidance of a veterinarian. Our experienced vets will prescribe the best treatment for your individual pet based on their breed, weight, age, health history, risk levels, and other factors.

Also, before starting a new heartworm preventive program in a previously untreated pet, the dog should be tested for heartworm by a veterinarian first. The course of heartworm treatment and prevention will be different for a dog that is already infected.

How Do Veterinarians Treat Heartworm?

If a dog has been diagnosed with heartworm, the most important step is to remove the adult heartworms from the circulation as immediately as possible. Early treatment can help prevent chronic, painful and debilitating changes to the dog’s body. Our veterinarians may administer a combination of products (antibiotics, arsenicals, and larvacidals) to weaken and kill the adult worms and the heartworm larvae. In some advanced situations, a dog with a large number of heartworms in the heart and veins may be worsening rapidly -and surgical removal of the worms may sometimes be necessary to prevent the infection from becoming fatal.

If you would like to schedule heartworm treatment or prevention, CLICK HERE, or call our Manhattan Beach veterinarians: 310-536-9654

 

Our veterinarians offer caring, compassionate, affordable veterinary services to cats, dogs and other pets in the entire South Bay area including: Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach, Gardena, El Segundo, Hawthorne, Torrance and Palos Verdes.

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          Monday - Friday
        7:30 am - 6:00 pm
 (Closed Thur. 1 pm - 3 pm)
                Saturday
        8:00 am - 2:00 pm

ADDRESS:

  1590-A   Rosecrans Avenue
  Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
 
              310-536-9654
 

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