Heartworm Treatment

Heartworm Treatment and Preventatives

Heartworm is a deadly parasite that can infect your dog and cat. In most cases, our veterinarian sees pets in Downey, California, with heartworm disease when they have not been put on preventative. If left untreated, heartworm will undermine your pet's health and ultimately prove fatal.

How Did My Pet Get Heartworm?

If your pet has heartworm, chances are you're wondering how he contracted it. Heartworm is a parasitic disease which has a complex lifecycle that involves other infected pets and mosquitoes. Your dog or cat contracts heartworm through a mosquito bite. Here's how:

First, the mosquito bites an animal that heartworm has already infected. The mosquito consumes the microfilariae or tiny heartworm larvae along with the infected animal's blood. The larvae develop within the mosquito until they become third stage larvae, which takes about ten days to two weeks. They migrate to the mosquito's mouth where they are injected into a new host when the mosquito feeds next. Once a new animal has been infected, it takes 50 to 70 days after a bite for the larvae to grow and migrate to the bloodstream. About seven to nine months after a mosquito has infected an animal, the heartworm is mature enough to mate and produce microfilariae and begin the life cycle anew.

How Do I Know if My Pet Has Heartworm?

Only a blood test administered by your veterinarian can determine if your pet has heartworm disease. Dogs that have heartworm may have a cough, and may be unwilling to exercise. In later stages, your dog may cough up blood, and may show signs of heart or other organ failure. Sometimes, our veterinarian will use x-rays to determine the extent of the infection, and whether your pet has Caval syndrome. Caval syndrome occurs when the adult heartworms clog up the right side of the heart. Talk with our veterinarian about the risks associated with heartworm disease here in Downey.

What's Involved in Heartworm Treatment?

The standard treatment is for our veterinarian give a series of injections with an adulticide combined with preventative medication to kill the larvae, and antibiotics to mediate any present infection. The dog will have to reduce his activity to avoid complications associated with treatment.

Can I Prevent Heartworm Disease?

In heartworm prevalent areas such as Downey, it's important to have your pet on a heartworm preventative. Our veterinarian can evaluate the right preventative for your pet. Most preventatives are used once a month, as either a topical or a pill disguised as a tasty treat. They're aimed at killing the larvae before they can become adult heartworms.

If you want to learn more about heartworm treatment and preventatives, be sure to contact us at Firestone Animal Hospital at (562) 928-1341. Make an appointment today to be certain your pet is heartworm free, and put on preventative.

Office Hours

7539 Firestone Blvd, Downey, CA 90241, United States

Firestone Office Hours

Monday

9:00 am - 7:00 pm

Tuesday

9:00 am - 7:00 pm

Wednesday

9:00 am - 7:00 pm

Thursday

9:00 am - 7:00 pm

Friday

9:00 am - 7:00 pm

Saturday

9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Sunday

Emergency Services & Urgent care available by appointment after-hours and Sundays

Firestone Office Hours

Monday
9:00 am - 7:00 pm
Tuesday
9:00 am - 7:00 pm
Wednesday
9:00 am - 7:00 pm
Thursday
9:00 am - 7:00 pm
Friday
9:00 am - 7:00 pm
Saturday
9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Sunday
Emergency Services & Urgent care available by appointment after-hours and Sundays

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