Preventive Care for Your Furry Friends
Preventive care is an important part of keeping your pet as healthy as can be. There are many proactive steps we can take as pet owners to ensure they’re protected from the various parasites and infectious diseases that can affect them. One of the most important parasites to keep your pet safe from are heartworms. While they primarily affect dogs, it’s not uncommon for cats to contract the parasite as well.
Learn more about heartworms and all the ways we’ll keep your beloved pet safe at Windermere Animal Hospital.
What Are Heartworms?
Heartworms are a type of parasite, primarily transmitted by mosquitos, that can cause several health conditions, including lung disease, heart failure, and other organ damage in pets. We highly encourage preventive care when it comes to keeping your pet safe from heartworms for two main reasons:
- It can take at least six months for symptoms of heartworm infection to appear and when they do, it can be mild and easily overlooked.
- If left untreated, heartworm infections are nearly always fatal.
Once heartworm larvae have been transmitted to your pet, they make their way through the bloodstream to the blood vessels of the heart and lungs. Here they mature and grow, reaching up to a foot in length. As they reproduce, their numbers grow, clogging the blood vessels and preventing blood from flowing through them. This causes organ damage, failure, and then premature death.
The Importance of Keeping Your Pet Protected From Heartworms
While there are numerous preventive measures available that can keep your pet safe from heartworms, most rely on regular, monthly administration. Failure to give the next dose at the right time could leave your furbaby vulnerable — even if you’re only just a day or two late.
Fortunately, there’s now a preventative solution for dogs that offers long-term protection that many patients find much more convenient. It’s known as ProHeart 12 and is only available through veterinary professionals. We’re delighted to offer ProHeart 12 at our Fishers, IN veterinary hospital to help keep your loved pets safe.
What Is ProHeart 12?
ProHeart 12 is a new heartworm preventative for dogs that’s recently gained approval from the FDA. Just like ProHeart 6, this preventative is designed specifically to keep your pet protected from heartworms. However, ProHeart 6 only protects for up to 6 months. With an extended-release injectable suspension, ProHeart 12 can offer your dog comprehensive protection from heartworms for an entire year.
This simple injection is performed in the comfort of our Fishers office. After ensuring your pet is at ease, we’ll administer it in the same way as a vaccination. Your pet shouldn’t experience more discomfort than a momentary pinch as the needle goes in. Administration takes seconds and you’ll be able to take your pet home immediately after. Protection against heartworms begins the moment the injection is given and lasts for a continuous 12 months before ProHeart 12 or another preventative must be given again.
Although ProHeart 12 is primarily given to protect dogs against heartworms, it also offers valuable protection against another type of parasitic worm that affects dogs — hookworms. However, it isn’t a preventative against tapeworms, roundworms, whipworms, and other varieties, meaning you’ll still need to keep up with your dog’s usual worming program.
Frequently Asked Questions
Sometimes, it can take months for signs of heartworms to show in dogs. Here are some of the early symptoms your dog may be experiencing:
- A persistent cough
- Weight loss
- Difficulty breathing
- Bulging ribs
If you notice any of these symptoms listed above in your pet, you must bring them in for an examination as soon as possible.
Yes, ProHeart injections are a very safe drug for your beloved pets. ProHeart can be given in special cases, such as pregnant and lactating female dogs. However, there are some allergic symptoms to be mindful of including hives, itching, and facial swelling. If your pet is experiencing any of these side effects after their ProHeart injections, bring them to our Fishers veterinary hospital as soon as possible.
Protect Your Pet at Windermere Animal Hospital
If you’re looking for a superior preventative against heartworms, look no further than ProHeart 12. To learn more about this safe and effective treatment, or to schedule an appointment to see if ProHeart 12 is suitable for your pet, please contact our animal hospital in Fishers, IN today. Simply call us at (317) 841-1846 or you can request information by filling out our online contact form.