Heartworm Disease

Heartworm Treatment at our Veterinary Center in Johnston

You know that many insects can burrow into your pet’s fur and even skin, laying eggs and making your cat or dog miserable. You probably use a flea or tick prevention medication, but what about heartworms? This disease can sadly slash your pet’s lifespan if not caught early enough. Here’s everything you need to know.

dog being treated for heartworm disease

What Is Heartworm Disease?

Heartworm disease is a condition where worms get into a pet’s lungs and heart. It can absolutely lead to death. Heartworm disease is likely for both cats and dogs. It’s much more typical for dogs to get and be treated for this disease than cats because outdoor animals get it more frequently. That means you must be especially diligent about watching your cat for symptoms.

What Causes It?

Mosquitos transmit the heartworms that can get inside our beloved pets. The heartworms cannot burrow into the animal themselves. Therefore, by keeping your pets, especially cats, away from mosquitos, you can theoretically safeguard them from ever getting heartworm disease.

Since mosquitos typically propagate during the spring and summer, these are the primetimes for heartworm disease. That doesn’t mean heartworms disappear during the autumn or winter, though, so always keep an eye out.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Heartworm Disease?

If your pet has heartworm disease, they may experience the following symptoms:

  • Breathing issues
  • Lethargy
  • Coughing

That’s about it. Worse yet, symptoms don’t often manifest at the beginning of a heartworm infection. It’s often only later in the disease that a pet will exhibit the above symptoms. By then, especially for cats, it can be almost too late.

What Should You Expect During Your Appointment?

If you suspect your pet may have heartworm disease or they have been exposed to mosquitos, bring them in to a veterinary in Johnston. Blood sample testing is the primary way to confirm a case of heartworm. Ultrasounds and x-rays may also be used for cats.

If your dog doesn’t have heartworm disease, you must still be diligent. Get them tested  annually.   There is a treatment for heartworm disease in dogs but the process is costly and spans several weeks.   Prevention is less expensive, and must be given all 12 months of the year, on the same date of each month to be most effective.  Testing for cats is more challenging,  There is no approved agent for the treatment of heartworm disease in cats. 

Contact Us for Veterinary Care in Johnston

If your pet needs heartworm treatment or more, bring them in to Rush Animal Care. As your choice for veterinary care in Johnston, our other services administered are tick and flea prevention, cold laser therapy, pet boarding, pet grooming, pet dental care, vaccinations, microchipping, and spay and neuter surgery.

Why not set up your appointment today? Just call 515-270-2240 or stop by Rush Animal Care on 5330 Northwest Beaver Drive.


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