Heartworms are one of the most infective parasites your pet can contract without proper medication to prevent infection. What is a heartworm? A heartworm is a small worm that is spread from a mosquito that bites and infected dog or cat then bites your pet. The heartworm enters the bloodstream and makes its way to the heart where it then grows and breeds until your pet has an overload of worms that can cause damage to the heart and artery lining. This causes secondary issues such as endarteritis, blockage of arteries and even cause coughing and pneumonia-like symptoms.
Mercy Animal Hospital stays up to date on the latest medications and testing kits for heartworms. For the heartworm test, the veterinarian will take a blood sample and then run it through the heartworm test kit. If positive your pet will need to be started on a heartworm medication regimen. It is not only costly, but requires your pet to be kept quiet and calm for several months. Mercy Animal Hospital stresses the importance of heartworm prevention due to this type of treatment.