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Heartworm Disease with our Charlotte Veterinarian

There are many types of veterinary care that your pet requires in order to stay healthy, and among the most crucial is heartworm treatment. Fortunately, at Hickory Grove Animal Hospital, our Charlotte veterinarians are prepared to help you with both preventions of heartworm and treatment.

What is Heartworm?

Heartworm is a type of parasite that starts out very small but has the potential to take over your pet's internal organs, including their heart. It begins as small larvae that a mosquito has picked up as they have bitten an effective animal. When they bite another animal they deposit the larvae and spread the disease. By the time the worm fully matures it is 12 inches long, and if multiple worms are present, they multiply. The presence of heartworms can inhibit the functioning of vital organs, including the heart, so staying one step ahead is vital for pet owners.

Treating Heartworm Disease

Heartworm disease is more common in dogs than it is in cats; however, it is more treatable in dogs. In either case, prevention is the best way to go. In most cases, preventive medicine is simply a chewable pill that can be given as a treat or added to your pet's food.

Without actually testing, it can be hard to notice heartworm disease in either dogs or cats. Some possible symptoms include

  • Breathing difficulty, similar to asthma
  • Lethargy
  • Exercise intolerance

If heartworm is diagnosed in dogs, there are some treatment options if the disease is caught early. The goal of treatment is to remove all stages of worms, and involves follow up testing to make sure the treatment was complete. Heartworm is generally not treatable in cats, so prevention is especially important. The medication given to treat dogs is not the same as it is for cats, so it is important not to share medication, and bring your cat to the vet for his own heartworm treatment prevention.

Heartworm Treatment From Your Charlotte Veterinarian

Dr. Sherry Huskey has a lifelong love of animals and has been the head of Hickory Grove Animal Hospital since 2003. In many cases, common pet diseases, such as heartworm disease are detected as part of standard veterinary care, however, if your pet isn't acting like himself, it is important to get them tested for heartworm or other problems as soon as possible in order to find the most effective treatment. To learn more about Hickory Grove Animal Hospital in Charlotte, NC, contact us at 704-563-5858 to schedule an appointment.