If you’ve ventured outside of your home during mosquito season in Indiana, you know those pests are everywhere, just waiting to bite you. Mosquito bites cause more than discomfort. The tiny pests can spread diseases and parasites to both humans and animals. For dogs and cats, the biggest fear is catching heartworms from mosquito bites. If an infected mosquito bites a dog or cat, the baby parasites are transmitted and can grow. Heartworms can cause significant damage to vital organs and even lead to death. Fortunately, you can protect your furry friends against heartworms. This is critical if you live in Fishers, Indiana, or the surrounding area. Learn about the signs that your pet has heartworms, as well as what you can do to protect your beloved pets.
Signs of Heartworms in Dogs and Cats
Sadly, cats often don’t show signs of heartworms until serious damage is done. Those that do show signs often cough and vomit, and you might notice your furry companion isn’t as hungry as normal. Unfortunately, you might not notice that anything is wrong until your cat passes away.
Dogs are more likely to show signs of a heartworm infestation, but even then, serious damage can already be done. When dogs have heartworms, they are likely to cough and feel more fatigued after activities.
The veterinary community has yet to discover a safe and effective heartworm treatment for felines. While there are treatments for dogs, it is very complicated. Your dog will have to rest in a crate for several months when undergoing treatment, and the risk of complications is high. Treatment is also expensive, and some of the damage might not be reversible.
Heartworm Prevention – The Key to Protecting Your Pet
Instead of hoping for an effective treatment, it’s much wiser to prevent your pet from getting heartworms. Your vet can recommend topical or oral preventative heartworm medication. This medication should be administered monthly, even if your pet stays indoors all the time. After all, mosquitoes can sneak inside and bite your pet. If you have a dog, you can also choose a heartworm prevention medication injection. Since this medicine lasts for six months, you don’t have to worry about forgetting a dose.
Other Ways to Protect Your Pet
Along with heartworm prevention medication, you can take some steps to reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home and pet. Get rid of any standing water around your home and clear overgrown vegetation so mosquitoes won’t have anywhere to hang out. You can also get a mosquito repellant collar for your furry friends. Just remember that this is not as effective as heartworm medication and should be used along with it, not in place of it.
Protect Your Pet From Heartworms
You love your furry friend and don’t want him to get heartworms. Windermere Animal Hospital in Fishers, Indiana, can help you fight against heartworms. Schedule an appointment for a heartworm test. Then, your vet can talk to you about your prevention options. Call us at 317-434-1600 to schedule an appointment today.