Veterinarians Near By Me | What is Heartworm Disease?


Veterinarians Near By Me | What is Heartworm Disease?

Although many people make the assumption that heartworm disease is only something dogs can contract according to veterinarians near by me. However, this is not true.

Cats and ferrets can also develop heartworm. After being bitten by an infected mosquito. And although it is exceptionally rare. Humans have been known to develop heartworm disease as well.

And while heartworm disease is treatable. The success of the treatment depends on catching heartworm early.

Which becomes extremely tricky. Because it typically takes years for a pet to exhibit symptoms of heartworm. And by then, treatment is typically not as effective.

Pet owners can authorize veterinarians near by me to do a blood test. That will detect antigens in the pets blood. To see if they have been infected with heartworm.

In dogs, the blood test works by looking for the antigens released by adult female heartworm’s into the dog’s bloodstream. This blood test is called a 4 D X test.

And can also test for a variety of diseases caused by tics including alignment disease, anaplasmosis, and ihrlichosis. This blood test only requires 3 drops of blood. And can be done on-site. In order to get people and answer immediately.

This test in cats is slightly different. But still requires only 3 drops of blood according to veterinarians near by me. And instead, they are looking for an anti-body. Which is a body’s chemical reaction to having something foreign in the bloodstream.


This blood test can detect heartworm larva in the cat’s bloodstream. Which will exist whether a cat has been infected recently. Or if they have been infected for several months or years.

And while heartworm is not technically contagious. If a mosquito bites an infected animal. And then bites an uninfected animal. They can transmit the heartworm larva called dirofilaria. Causing other animals to be infected.

This is a much more likely scenario. When the animals are living in the same household. Despite the fact that it is extremely rare to begin with.

However, even though the test for heartworm is extremely fast and easy. Pet owners can have a better solution at protecting their pets against heartworm disease.

There are many medications on the market. That are designed to 100% prevent pets from getting heartworm. Some of the medication is topical, and the other is chewable.

Therefore, cat owners do not have to worry about trying to force their cat to swallow a pill. And whether they will take a chewable pill or not. There is an option for getting them protected.

They can talk to veterinarians near by me about what treatment is best. And these medications are completely safe for all pets to take. And can protect 100% from getting heartworm disease.

The medication needs to be administered once a month. And for pet owners that live in a climate that does not have mosquitoes year-round. Do not have to treat their pet during the months that mosquitoes are not active.

By protecting their pet against heartworm. Pet owners are going to ensure that they will never have to get this devastating diagnosis.

Veterinarians Near By Me | What is Heartworm Disease?

Many people may have heard about heartworm says veterinarians near by me. But they still might not know exactly how animals get this disease. And how it can be treated or even prevented.

Just as the name implies, this happens when a pet develops worms in their heart and other organs. This happens when an infected mosquito passes along heartworm larva to the hosts that it bites.

This heartworm larva is called dirofilaria. And in 6 to 7 months, the larva can go from that state to fully grown adults. Once they are adults, they start looking for an opening in the body in which to live.

This is why they typically infect the hearts and lungs of a pet. However, they can grow pretty much anywhere that they can get into.

This is why dogs will develop heartworm with a higher frequency than cats. Simply because dogs hearts are larger. Which will allow the fully grown heartworm to get inside of easier.

Dogs that have developed heartworm’s. Will take months or years to exhibit symptoms. But once they start developing symptoms, they can act lethargic, have difficulty breathing or coughing.

Suddenly start losing weight and become very uninterested in regular activities. If people are seeing these types of behaviours in their dog. Should take them to veterinarians near by me immediately.

However, cats exhibit different symptoms as well. Including lacking in appetite and vomiting in addition to weight loss. They may have difficulty walking or exhibit signs of fainting or having seizures.


In both dogs and cats, some or all of these symptoms may be present. And once they start exhibiting these symptoms. Organ failure is not far behind. And it is imperative that they get there animal to a veterinarian quickly.

This is why regular checkups with veterinarians near by me is so important. Because they can do a blood test that will be able to detect heartworm’s very quickly. Before organ failure becomes imminent.

The sooner a dog or a cat is diagnosed with heartworm’s. The better the long-term prognosis is for that animal. Simply because the longer an animal has heartworm’s. The more their health is compromised.

And since the treatment for heartworm’s can negatively impact and animals health. With how harsh the medication is. They need to be in as good medical shape as possible. In order to withstand the treatment.

If pet owners do want to proceed with treating their pets heartworm. They will expect the first injection of antibiotics. To protect their pet. And to weaken the heartworm.

And after waiting 30 days to let the antibiotic called doxycycline to work. The veterinarian will inject an arsenic based drug twice, 24 hours apart.

It is very important for animals that get diagnosed through blood test, before they start exhibiting symptoms. The prognosis is very good for long-term recovery.

However, the best treatment is preventative. Which is why they should ask their veterinarian for what medicine they should give their animal to prevent heartworm from even happening.