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Posts Tagged ‘heartworms’

Time to check for heartworm disease!
Schedule your pet’s yearly checkup today!

Prevent Heartworm

It’s March—Springtime is around the corner! Worms in your garden…and worms in your pet? Eeew! Hold on, let’s explain…

The worms you find in your garden mulch are not the same worms that cause heartworm disease in pets. Mosquitoes carry heartworms. And all it takes is one mosquito to bite your pet to become infected.

Here’s the good news about heartworm disease: It’s an illness that can be easy and affordable to prevent. The bad news is, if you don’t prevent it the right way, your pet is at high risk of getting sick. Heartworm disease is dangerous to your pet and some signs of the illness are tough to spot. Your pet may be acting fine, but they may have so many heartworms inside their body that it can become life threatening.

You may be thinking, “my pet stays indoors, so there’s no need for heartworm prevention.” But, Dr. Donald Miele, a Norfolk veterinarian, warns that heartworms are carried by mosquitoes, which get into everyone’s homes! One mosquito bite is all that’s needed to spread the disease to your furry friend.

Schedule your pet’s yearly checkup with us. We’ll do a thorough exam, including a simple heartworm test, to make sure your pet is at his/her optimum health. And we’ll talk about the best way to prevent heartworm disease, so your pet stays healthy, happy and safe!

Make an appointment for your pet’s annual exam today! Contact Little Creek Veterinary Clinic.

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Heartworm Disease has been found in pets in all 50 states, including Virginia.

Dogs and cats are vulnerable to Heartworm Disease, which is transmitted by mosquitoes. As anyone who is familiar with southern Virginia knows, we have a mosquito problem. As a result, we also have a heartworm problem.

Heartworms not only live in the pet’s heart, they also migrate to the lungs. And although a dog can harbor over a hundred worms in its body, it takes only a single adult worm to cause a fatal inflammatory reaction in a cat.

Fast Facts:

Adult Heartworms can grow up to 12 inches long

Adult Heartworms can live 5-7 years

A dog can have as many as 250 worms in its body

You can protect your pet with a simple-to-use monthly preventative, such as HeartGard Plus or Revolution.

Contact Us so we can help you get your pet protected from Heartworm Disease.
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Take a look at this chart showing reported cases of heartworm disease across the U.S. in 2013. Our area of Virginia saw between 51-100 cases per clinic of the clinics surveyed for this map. That’s a lotta heartworms! [Chart produced by the American Heartworm Society.]

Heartworm disease, which is spread by mosquitoes, can be fatal. Post-exposure treatment is available for dogs, but not for cats.

Large map

Click to enlarge

The good news is, heartworm disease is preventable, in dogs and cats.

Contact Us today to find out how we can protect your pet.

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FALSE.

Even cats that stay indoors their entire lives are at risk for parasitic infections. Why?

Because mosquitos, which transmit heartworm disease, often sneak into our homes.

Because fleas, which transmit tapeworms, often reside in our homes.

Because flies, which transmit roundworms, often buzz around inside our homes.

And if your cat is anything like mine, it loves to chase, catch, and eat bugs!

These are just some of the reasons your cat’s feces should be checked one to two times a year for parasites.

It’s also why we recommend Revolution for indoor cats. Revolution protects your cat against fleas, heartworms, roundworms, and ear mites.

Click on the graphic below to learn more about cats and parasites — then talk to us about protecting your indoor cat from heartworms, tapeworms, and roundworms.

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

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April was Heartworm Awareness Month, and I posted several items 

here

here

and

here

to let you know how serious we are about preventing deadly heartworm infection in your pets.

But one thing was missing – until now: videos showing active heartworms in a dog’s blood sample.

And here they are — just click the links!

Live heartworm microfilariae 009

Live heartworm microfilariae

Live heartworm microfilariae 010

Live heartworm microfilariae Part 2

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Live heartworm microfilariae Part 3

That’s right. Using my trusty Panasonic Lumix on Motion Picture Mode, I caught these larval heartworms (also called microfilariae) doing their wriggly-squiggly happy dance under the microscope. They didn’t dance for long.

Quick Review: Lifecycle of the Heartworm

L1 stage microfilariae (the newborns produced by adult heartworms) are ingested by a mosquito feeding on the blood of an infected dog. Inside the mosquito, the L1 larvae mature to a new stage called L3 and are then passed on to the next dog or cat on which the mosquito dines. Inside the new host, the L3 larva mature to become adult heartworms measuring up to 12 inches long.

These videos show L1 stage larva: the point at which a heartworm-positive dog is a danger to its neighbors. Don’t let heartworms infect your pet; and be a good neighbor — don’t let your pet become a reservoir for heartworm disease. 

Ask us about heartworm testing and prevention today!

 

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New research shows that some respiratory illnesses in cats, previously believed to be feline asthma or bronchitis may actually be Heartworm Associated Respiratory Disease (HARD).

Heartworm larvae (immature worms) — spread through the bite of a mosquito — migrate to the cat’s lungs where they produce inflammation, leading to breathing difficulties.

Interestingly, dying larvae can also cause inflammation. A few larvae may grow to adulthood, but the death of adult heartworms can produce an inflammatory response so severe that it can cause sudden death in a cat.

KnowHeartworms.org has identified 13 signs that may indicate the presence of heartworms in a cat:

  • anorexia
  • blindness
  • collapse
  • convulsions
  • coughing
  • diarrhea
  • difficulty breathing
  • fainting
  • lethargy
  • rapid heart rate
  • sudden death
  • vomiting
  • weight loss

Other health problems (including kidney disease, Feline Leukemia, hyperthyroidism, and diabetes, among others) may cause some of the same symptoms listed above.

Adding to the confusion is the fact that heartworm disease is difficult to diagnose in cats — as compared to dogs, in which a simple blood test can detect the presence of worms.

And as previously mentioned, heartworm disease in cats is not curable.

However, heartworm disease and HARD are preventable, through the use of products like Revolution. The best time to start your cat on Revolution is before it develops symptoms of HARD

Healthy Dose of Savings 004

Revolution is designed to be safe for use in cats that may already be infected with heartworms, and it can prevent further infections. Revolution also protects cats from fleas, roundworms, hookworms, and ear mites.

If your cat is currently on a flea-only treatment, it is easy to switch to Revolution – just ask!

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April is Heartworm Awareness Month for dog owners.

Scratch that —

April is Heartworm Awareness Month for dog and cat owners.

New poster 2

Fact: Heartworms are spread by mosquitoes.

Fact: Mosquitoes don’t just feed on us; they take blood meals from cats and dogs, too.

Fact: Mosquitoes often find their way into our houses, putting “indoor” pets at risk for Heartworm Disease.

Here’s what else you need to know right now:

  • Heartworm disease is preventable, thanks to products like HeartGard, Iverhart Max, and Revolution.
  • It only takes a single heartworm to cause a fatal reaction in cats.
  • Heartworm disease is difficult to diagnose in cats; tests can return false negative results.
  • There is no cure for heartworm disease in cats.
  • Treatment for heartworm infection in dogs is costly, painful, and can be fatal.
Choose your weapon in the fight against heartworm disease.

Choose your weapon in the fight against heartworm disease.

Get more information on Feline Heartworm Disease from KnowHeartworms.org.

Heartworm prevention bonus: Most prescription heartworm preventatives also contain protection against intestinal worms (which can be spread to humans) and some contain protection against fleas or other parasites. That’s a lot of bang for your buck!

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