Did you know that April is Heartworm Awareness Month? It wouldn’t be much of a surprise if the answer is no. After all, heartworms aren’t exactly something most people want to think about. However, heartworms are very dangerous for pets. If left untreated, they can even be deadly. Protecting your furry buddy from these disgusting parasites is very important! A Fayetteville, NC vet lists some ways for you to do that in this article.

Preventative Care

First and foremost, keep your furry pal up to date with their preventative care. This is the single most effective thing that you can do to protect your beloved pet from these deadly worms. Your vet will be able to offer you specific product recommendations. It’s important to keep in mind that these products will not be as effective if they are not administered properly and on time. Follow the instructions to the letter, and don’t hesitate to call us if you have questions.

Regular Exams

Unfortunately, as is happening with many parasites and bacteria, heartworms may be developing a resistance to some preventative care products. That’s why it’s also crucial to keep up with your pet’s examinations. There are treatment options available for heartworms, but this is definitely a case where the sooner the issue is caught and addressed, the better. Ask your vet for more information.

Mosquito Control

Heartworms spread from pet to pet not through direct contact, but rather via the mosquito. While preventative care and exams are the most important things you can do, it’s also not going to hurt to take steps to eliminate mosquitos. (And, to be fair, no one wants mosquitos around anyway.) Don’t let standing water collect in things like buckets or wheelbarrows. Also, do what you can to help populations of animals that eat mosquitoes, such as bats.

Know Symptoms

Hopefully, you’ll never have to deal with a heartworm infestation. However, it’s always best to be informed, and to know what to look for. Coughing is usually the earliest sign of trouble. Other red flags include labored breathing, sometimes after mild excursion; fatigue; lethargy; weight loss; withdrawal; and reduced interest in play. Serious infestations can bring more severe signs, such as fainting, seizures, and even heart attacks.

For more information about protecting your pet from heartworm, contact us, your Fayetteville, NC animal clinic, today. We’re here to help!