We are lucky to live in an area where heartworm is low risk, however it may be important for you to give your pet a preventative dependent on where your pet might travel with you. We recommend a heartworm prevention plan for many pets for routine health care.
Heartworm, or Dirofilaria immitis, is a parasite that is spread by mosquitoes, so your pet does not even need to be in contact with other pets to become infected!
Heartworm has a complicated life cycle. Infected dogs have microfilaria, an immature form of heartworm, circulating in their bloodstream. Microfilariae are sucked up by mosquitoes when feeding on the blood of infected dogs, a single bite from a carrier mosquito can infect your pet. As the worms mature in the heart they can cause a physical blockage as well as thickening of the heart and associated blood vessels. In the earlystages of infection there may be no visible signs, however, infection may eventually lead to signs of heart failure (reluctance to exercise, lethargy, coughing) and even death. Heartworm is present throughout most of Australia (except Tasmania and arid areas).
Thankfully, heartworm is very easy to prevent and should form part of your pet health care routine. We have very effective preventative treatment options available including tablets, chews, spot-on's and even an annual injection for dogs administered by one of our vets.
Please call us to discuss the best heartworm prevention for your pet.