Dogs and other canids, such as fox, wolves, and coyote, are considered the primary heartworm hosts, but these parasites can also affect other mammals, including cats and ferrets. There are treatments available for dogs, but prevention is the wisest approach to dealing with heartworms. In the early stages of the disease, many dogs may show few symptoms or no symptoms at all. The longer the infection persists, the more likely symptoms will develop. Clinical signs of infection include:
- Persistent cough
- Lethargy (tiredness)
- Exercise intolerance
- Loss of appetite and weight loss
- Difficulty breathing and/or excessive panting
Safe, easy to give, effective medications are available to prevent heartworm disease. Preventions are given monthly and are either topical (applied to the skin) or given as a pill or treat. Ask us which method and schedule of heartworm prevention are best for you and your pet.