For most pet owners, animals are important and valued members of the family. They give love unconditionally, and they expect very little in return. They bring joy and humor to our lives, and they’re always there for us when we need them. That’s why we want to do everything we can to make sure they have the best possible lives like feeding them nutritious, healthy meals and protection from parasites.

 

At Normandale Vet Hospital in Edina, we offer a wide range of services to keep your pet in the best possible health so she’ll enjoy a long and happy life. In this blog post, we’ll talk about how we can help protect your pet from deadly heartworm infections.

What are Heartworms?

As their name suggests, heartworms are a type of parasite. You may have also heard someone refer to them as the “foot-long worm.” These worms reside within an animal’s cardiovascular system.

 

Heartworms infect an animal through the bites of heartworm-infected mosquitoes carrying worm larvae called microfilaria. These larvae can reside in a mosquito for up to two weeks, during which the mosquito will infect every animal it bites. As these larvae mature, the health problems they cause serious health problems in animals.

Heartworm Symptoms in Infected Animals

One of the reasons these worms are so dangerous is their proximity to a host’s vital organs including its lungs and heart. Cats are not natural carriers to heartworms, although they can have minor infections and even more serious health complications. One such complication takes the form of heartworm-associated respiratory disease, often referred to by the acronym HARD.

 

Dogs, however, are common hosts for heartworms. As natural carriers, they can become seriously ill from heartworm-related complications. Whether your pet is a dog or cat, preventative medicine can play a vital role in reducing the risk of heartworm infection.

 

Signs of heartworm infection in your pet:

●        Lethargy

●        Chronic but persistent cough

●        Reduced appetite

●        Pale gums

●        Difficulty breathing

●        Vomiting

●        Seizures

Call Our Edina Veterinary Medical and Surgical Care Team

Heartworms can put your pet’s life at risk or even result in the need for surgery. Our compassionate veterinarian care team can help prescribe a medication to prevent heartworm infection in cats and dogs.

 

Our Normandale Veterinary Hospital veterinarians also provide grooming services, spay or neuter services, pet emergency care, and dental services. Call us to schedule your heartworm prevention treatment at 952-831-8272 or stop by our contact page to schedule your pet’s appointment.