Heartworm is a serious disease. Heartworms can be found in dogs, cats, and ferrets. Other mammals can also be infected, even humans although it is rare. Heartworms are a parasite and parasite control is vital to the health of your pets. At Magnolia Animal Hospital in Raleigh, we are a full-service animal hospital. Our veterinarians and staff treat your pets as if they were our own. One of the many ways you can help your furry friend stay healthy is with heartworm prevention.

What Are Heartworms?

Heartworms are parasites, Dirofilaria immitis, which are spread through mosquito bites. Heartworms have been reported in all 50 states. The microscopic larvae then find their way into the bloodstream to the major organs like the lungs and the heart. They also damage the blood vessels. The worms can grow to more than a foot long and have a lifespan of 5-7 years.

When Your Pet Has Heartworm Disease

If your pet is infected and it is not detected early it will likely become quite sick. Heartworm disease is very serious and can lead to death. Getting rid of heartworms is not an easy process for you or your pet. It is much better to make sure your pet does not get the disease in the first place.

Heartworm Prevention

As with many diseases, preventing heartworm disease is the preferred option. The FDA has approved several medications to help prevent these pests. Heartworm prevention medication does not kill heartworms if they are already present in your pet. Before beginning a heartworm prevention program, your pet needs to get a blood test that guarantees your pet is heartworm-free. The preventative medication is nearly 100% effective. Our veterinarians can perform the blood test and create a prevention plan that works based on your pet’s breed, age, and species.

Contact Us for Parasite Prevention in Raleigh, NC

If you are looking for parasite prevention or suspect that your pet is infected with heartworms, we can help. Call our team at Magnolia Animal Hospital today at (919) 873-9190 to schedule an appointment with one of our veterinarians.