The Importance of Heartworm Preventatives

Here at VOCAL, we can’t say enough about the importance of heartworm preventatives for your dog or cat. They are absolutely essential for the health of your pet.

Heartworms in dogs are easy to prevent but can be very difficult and costly to cure. This is a horrible disease that can lead to a dog’s death if left untreated.

Where Do Heartworms Come From?

Dogs get heartworms when they are bitten by a mosquito. That is the only way a dog can contract heartworm disease. It takes about seven months from when the dog was bitten for the larva to mature into adult heartworms. They lodge in the lungs, heart and blood vessels of your pet and then begin reproducing. A dog can have as many as 250 worms in its system.

How Does Heartworm Disease Affect a Dog?

At first, there are no symptoms of heartworm disease. But as the heartworms reproduce and grow, they begin to crowd the heart and lungs and many dogs develop a cough. As the disease progresses, the dogs become winded easier and they won’t be able to run and exercise as much as they did before. If left untreated, most dogs will die.

Prevention is key. There are monthly pills, monthly topicals for the skin and even a six-month injectable product. A six-month supply of heartworm preventatives will cost around $40 to $80 depending on the size and weight of the dog. The damage that is done to the dog and the cost of necessary treatment is way more than the cost of this treatment.

For more questions about heartworm preventatives, contact us today. VOCAL’s animal clinic will provide low-cost heartworm vaccines. Please consider donating to our goal of opening a clinic.