Spruce Creek Animal Clinic
April is Heartworm Awareness Month.
Heartworm disease is an extremely serious disease found throughout the United States and also in other parts of the world. It is primarily a disease of canines (dogs) but will also occur in cats. Mosquitoes transmit the worms from one infected dog to other unprotected dogs or cats.
Adult worms are found in the right side of the heart and the vessels leading to the lungs, causing damage to the heart, blood vessels, lungs and other organs of the body. Damage can be severe and may be irreversible. By eliminating the adult worms, further damage may be alleviated. Also, complications can develop heartworm following treatment; their severity will vary depending on the number of worms present.
Prevention is the best medicine! In Florida heartworm preventative is a year-round necessity. Medication is available in pill and topical forms, for both dogs and cats. Dogs over six months of age require a negative heartworm test in order to start on prevention. Cats can be started without testing.