Heartworm is a dangerous worm, and when an infected mosquito feeds on your pet’s blood, the heartworm larvae enter the bloodstream. The scary part is that these larvae mature into worms that can reach up to 30cm in length.
The worms mature in the bloodstream and eventually become lodged in your pet’s heart leading to heart failure. It is at this point that the disease can be fatal. Dogs are more commonly affected by heartworm disease but cats may also be at risk.
The prevalence of heartworm in Australia has been mainly in tropical and subtropical coastal regions but in recent decades it has become increasingly prevalent in more southern areas.
Prevention of heartworm is far better than an attempt at a cure but it’s important to realise that not all heartworm prevention is the same so it’s best to ask us what is the best prevention for your pet.
The easiest prevention is a yearly injection (Proheart) which we can usually give at the same time as your dogs vaccination. Ask us for more details.
If giving in a monthly tablet form please be aware that many of the intestinal ‘all-wormer’ tablets do not prevent against heartworm infection.