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No Heart for Worms this Valentine's Day

Hearts are on our minds this February as we enjoy the Valentine period, so at VetShopOnline.com we mark the occasion by spreading the word about heartworm. We love animals, but there are some worms who we don’t want to share the love with this season. Adult heartworms look like spaghetti, growing up to 30cm in length; although their effects are far from enjoyable.

How does heartworm affect your pet’s health?

 If your pet contracts heartworm disease their blood vessels become clogged, particularly around the heart, causing decreased blood flow to other major organs, damaging tissues, leading to heart failure and death. Treatment is expensive and fraught with danger. In severe cases, actual treatment of the disease can cause severe symptoms. As you can see, heartworm is a serious condition and prevention, rather than treatment is preferable. 

How do pets contract heartworm?

Dogs cannot contract heartworm directly
from one another. Instead, an infected
mosquito bites your pet, transmitting the
deadly worms. 

The signs of infection

Unfortunately, in the initial stages of
infection, no symptoms are apparent. As
the disease advances, symptoms include:
 

  • Coughing
  • Lethargy
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Tiring quickly during exercise
  • Laboured breathing


How can you prevent the disease?

The great news is that this detrimental disease can be easily prevented and there is a variety of treatment options available. Most preventative treatments are used monthly; such as:
 

  • Chews can be fed to your dog, once a month, year round. A highly effective option is Heartgard Plus.
  • Tablets can also be taken monthly; available from Proheart and Valuheart.
  • Alternatively, external pipettes produced by Revolution or Advocate, can be applied to the skin once a month. 
  • More frequent preventative treatments like Dimmitrol tablets can be administered daily.


These products are a great option, because most also prevent other harmful infections such as fleas, mites and intestinal worms

At VetShopOnline.com we believe the key to a healthy heart is a heartworm free pet. To keep the disease at bay, we recommend preventative measures be taken and that your pet has regular checkups at the vet. We offer a broad range of preventative heartworm treatments at affordable prices because pets are always in our hearts.