Veterinary Care for Cats and Dogs and Pocket Pets
Welcome to Clark Animal Hospital!
April is Heart worm month!!
Heartworm is a serious and potentially fatal disease in pets, and is transmitted by mosquitoes. When an infected mosquito bites a dog it deposits small baby worms (larvae) into the tissues and bloodstream. These larvae then migrate to the vessels of the heart and lungs and develop into adults. These worms can cause lasting damage to the heart, lungs and arteries. In the early stages of the disease, many dogs show few or no symptoms, but the longer the infection persists, the more likely symptoms will develop. Clinical signs can include a mild persistent cough, reluctance to exercise, fatigue after moderate activity, decreased appetite, and weight loss. In severe cases it can result in heart failure and cardiac collapse.
We require that all dogs be tested annually for heartworm exposure (a blood test) before we can dispense any preventative medications. Puppies less than 6 months of age can be started on heartworm prevention without a heartworm test, because it takes at least 6 months for a dog to test positive after it has been infected, but they need be tested yearly after that to ensure they are heartworm-free. We run our tests in house and you will have your results in less than 10 minutes!
As with many diseases it is better to try and prevent this disease rather than risk your pet getting sick. There are a number of different preventative medications available, some of which are also effective against fleas, ticks and intestinal parasites.
As always, you can count on your pet’s health care team at Clark Animal Hospital for support and advice. Please call or email us with any questions!
Summer is almost here!