Posts Tagged ‘heartworms’

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

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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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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 





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!

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Live heartworm microfilariae

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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. 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

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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

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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Happy New Year!

What’s a New Year without a little change?

For much of 2012, I’ve blogged on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and updated our Facebook page on Tuesday and Thursday.

For the rest of December and continuing in 2013, I will update the blog on Tuesday and Thursday, while checking in to Facebook on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. It’s the ol’ switcheroo, in other words.

I’ll still bring you timely bulletins about lost and found pets, schedule changes, and other critical information — even on non-blogging days — so that you can stay up-to-date. Otherwise, when things are quiet and all is right in Pet Owner Land, you can check in with us twice a week, or as often as you prefer.

Keep in mind that our Electronic Universe consists of four parts: e-mail, blog, Facebook, and our YouTube channel. That’s right – we have our own channel, where I’ve posted such memorable videos as “Active flea larvae on the Flea Farm,” “Tapeworm segment releasing its eggs,” and who could forget “Hungry little crab”? But the front runner so far is “Live Tapeworm segments” with 508 views.

In 2013, I plan to bring you video of live heartworm larvae (microfilariae) as viewed under a microscope. You’ll remember to give your dog his heartworm preventative every month after seeing that.

Keep watching and keep in touch.  ~~  Jen M.

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…is contained in one site: Pets & Parasites, brought to you by the Companion Animal Parasite Council.

Thunderstorms. Loneliness. Bathtime.

Our pets have enough things to worry about — so let’s cross worms, fleas, ticks, and mites off their list.

*Learn about the internal and external parasites most commonly found in dogs and cats and how to prevent them.

*Protect your human family members from parasites.

*See why experts predict a high risk of heartworm disease for pets living in Virginia.

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*View the Parasite Prevalence Map to see which Virginia counties have a history of tick-borne diseases.

When you’ve finished honing your knowledge of parasite risks and prevention, Contact Us to make sure your pet is protected!

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