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Heartworms are something that all pet owners need to be aware of, especially those with cats, dogs, or ferrets. If left untreated, heartworms can cause serious health issues and potentially death. At Bridgerland Cache Animal Hospital in Logan, UT, Utah, our veterinarian team is here to help. If you need exotic animal care or ordinary veterinary services, we’re here at our animal hospital. These are some things you may need to know about heartworms. 

Heartworm Prevention and Treatment

What Are Heartworms?

Heartworms are parasites that live in the bodies of animals, particularly dogs, cats, and ferrets. They grow to be long and are generally located in the heart, lungs, and related blood vessels. Heartworms are a serious and potentially fatal condition.

What Are Some Signs of Heartworms?

Heartworm infestation can look different in different animals. Dogs might have a persistent cough, as well as a decrease in their appetite and energy levels. Cats are more subtle. You might see asthma-like symptoms, as well as vomiting and weight loss. But sometimes you can’t tell a cat has heartworms until they collapse. 

Since ferrets are so small, they might show severe symptoms more quickly than other animals. Severe coughing, blue gums, and breathing difficulties may be signs that your ferret might have heartworms.

What Are Heartworm Treatments?

Before any heartworm treatments can begin, the veterinarian needs to be sure that the animal is stabilized. This might involve monitoring the situation and providing fluids to be sure they are hydrated enough. From there, the treatment depends on the species. Dogs can be treated with specific drugs, which will flush out the worms. From there, they need to be monitored for any new or remaining parasites. Heartworm treatment in cats and ferrets is different, since the drugs that work on dogs are dangerous for these pets. They are treated through a management plan that monitors and treats their symptoms. Sometimes, small amounts of drugs can be used to improve respiratory issues. The heartworms will occasionally spontaneously clear out, but this isn’t guaranteed. 

How Do I Prevent Heartworms?

For all animals, heartworm prevention pills and regular exams can help prevent infection. You should also make sure to maintain an environment that is not friendly to mosquitoes, since this is the prime carrier for infection. Between this and annual wellness appointments at our animal hospital, you will have a better chance of heartworm prevention.

Visit Us for Heartworm Prevention and Heartworm Treatments from a Veterinarian at Our Animal Hospital

Heartworms can be dangerous for your animals, so it is important that you know what to do about them. Bridgerland Cache Animal Hospital in Logan, UT, Utah can help you with exotic animal care and prevent and treat heartworm in your pets. Call our office at (435) 752-2151 to learn more and make an appointment for heartworm prevention and heartworm treatments. 

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