If you are a dog owner, you've no doubt heard about heartworm. If you're wondering whether you should worry about it, the answer is yes. Heartworm is one of the most common and deadly diseases that afflicts dogs. It is very important that you both take your dog in for regular exams and that you give preventative treatment to the animal. To learn more, read on.


Preventative Treatment

Preventative treatment for Heartworm is essential. You should see a vet to get their recommendations for a treatment regime specific to your animal. Most dogs do well on a once a month pill, but there are other treatments on the market. It is possible to get these treatments over the counter, but you should visit the vet at least once at the start of the treatment to get their guidelines.


Exams to Check For Heartworm

When you see the vet, you should also have him or her check for heartworm. This is a fairly simple and routine procedure, and most vets will perform this check without being asked. Of course, you should ask your vet to make sure a heartworm check has been performed. Dogs should be taken in for a checkup once a year, just like humans.


Treating Dogs That Have Heartworm

If your dog is checked and comes up positive for heartworm, it isn't the end of the world. The prognosis depends on how early the vet catches the disease. However, modern heartworm treatments are quite effective, and many dogs that are diagnosed with heartworm end up making full recoveries. If your dog becomes very sluggish and develops a cough, take it to the vet immediately. These are classic symptoms of heartworm. Most dogs that have a cough and are sluggish just have a cold, but you shouldn't take any chances.


If you have a dog or other animal that needs treatment from a vet, check out Normandale Veterinary. We serve the Normandale, Edina, Bloomington, Eden Prairie, Richfield and Saint Louis Park areas. Our website has more information about the services we offer, but you're welcome to call if you have any questions. We pride ourselves on the relationship we establish with our patients and their owners. We can't wait to start our caring relationship with you and your pet.