At Silver Star Animal Hospital, we recommend annual testing for heartworms as well as a preventive treatment program, following guidelines set by the American Heartworm Society. We can test for the presence of heartworms quickly, easily and economically.
Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal condition that can affect indoor and outdoor companion pets. Heartworm larvae are transmitted to healthy animals by mosquitoes that have previously bitten infected animals. Heartworms exist in all 50 states, but they are most prevalent in warm climates with stable bodies of water. This means that companion pet owners in Orlando, Ocoee, Apopka, and Windermere, Florida need to protect their pets year round with preventive heartworm treatment.
Without the protection provided by a preventive treatment program, heartworms can eventually affect your pet's cardiovascular health. There are few, if any, early signs of heartworm disease in dogs and cats. Heartworm positive dogs will eventually experience difficulty breathing and decreased physical activity. If your dog tests positive, there is a treatment for it, however it is a lengthy and costly one. Your pet will need to be kept calm for several months in order to avoid putting stress on the heart and lungs.
If your dog’s test results come back negative, then our veterinarians will start your dog on a preventive treatment that you will need to administer year-round for the rest of the animal’s life. These preventive medications come in several forms, including injectables, pills, topical applications, and tasty treats.
Cats should be put on a preventive treatment and tested as recommended by our veterinarians. Cats are not a natural host for heartworms however, just a few can make a cat very ill. Prevention in cats is critical because there is no approved drug treatment for heartworm infection in cats. If your cat tests positive for heartworms, they can be helped with good veterinary care and a long-term management plan.
If you haven’t had your companion pet tested for heartworms, schedule an appointment today at Silver Star Animal Hospital. Our doctors and staff will work with you to determine the best heartworm preventative based on your pet’s individual lifestyle.