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Heartworm Prevention & Parasites at Our Overland Park Animal Hospital

Your beloved pet can be vulnerable to any number of infections, including those related to heartworms and related parasites. Cats and dogs can often unknowingly carry a parasite into the home and may infect other animals, including human companions. Our Veterinarians at Blue Valley Animal Hospital offer safe and effective preventative treatments for heartworms and other parasites. Parasite prevention helps you keep pets and your family healthy.

Heartworm Prevention & Parasites

What is a Heartworm?

Heartworm is also known as Dirofilaria Immitis and is highly prevalent in unprotected dogs in endemic areas. Heartworms are parasites that will eventually travel to the lungs and multiply there and in the surrounding veins. The larvae of a worm are transmitted through the bite of a mosquito. Heartworm prevention is important because when heartworms are left untreated, pets can experience lethargy, fainting, and an untimely death. Pet owners can take advantage of safe and effective products from their veterinarians near Overland Park, KS to treat and prevent heartworms.

All heartworm prevention products are not the same. It is recommended that pet owners regularly use products recommended from area vets for their animal’s protection. Schedule an appointment with a veterinarian near Overland Park, KS to test for heartworms or other parasites and discuss preventative treatments.

Symptoms of Heartworms

A dog or cat can have heartworms without showing initial symptoms during the first months of infection. Symptoms of heartworms often begin to appear when the parasite reaches maturity or after six months, with signs including:

  • Less energy and inactivity
  • Weight loss
  • A soft, dry cough
  • Fainting after light exercise
  • Difficult or rapid breathing
  • A bulging chest
  • An allergic reaction in cats and dogs
  • Collapse and death

Treatment can be expensive and time-consuming and infection can tax the strength of older animals. Products from the vets near Overland Park, KS can prevent infection in the first place.

Diagnosis of Heartworm and Parasites at Our Overland Park Animal Hospital

Testing differs for cats and dogs and on the type of parasite. While some parasites may be visible in feces, many are not. Dogs require a special blood test to test positive for heartworms. Cats may need more than a single test for a diagnosis. More information on parasite control in companion animals is available on www.petsandparasites.org. Speak to vets near Overland Park, KS for details.

How to Choose the Best Prevention Method

The veterinarians at Blue Valley Animal Hospital offer a variety of preventative medications. Pet owners can choose from oral medications taken every month. These medications may also provide some protection against other parasites. A topical medication applied monthly is also available. Pets taking preventative medications still require annual blood tests and a check-up for heartworms. Cats and dogs require different testing to diagnose heartworms. Treatments are available for dogs but there is no treatment for adult heartworms in cats.

Effective Heartworm and Parasite Prevention at Our Local Overland Park Veterinary Clinic

Pet owners that give year-round preventative treatments to pets can help a dog or cat avoid infection from heartworms and other parasites. Your veterinarian at Blue Valley Animal Hospital can help you choose the most suitable product for your pet and your family. Contact us at 913-681-2818 for more information and to schedule an appointment today!

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