4 Things You Need to Know About Heartworm Disease

At VIP Petcare, our mission is to make keeping your pet healthy simple. Our community pet clinics offer convenient, affordable care for cats and dogs. One of the most common preventive treatments we provide is heartworm protection and for good reason. Heartworm is a common and potentially dangerous problem for both cats and dogs. But do you know all you need to to keep your pet safe?

What You Should Know About Heartworm

We sat down with our Medical Director and Associate Medical Director to learn more about the specifics of heartworm and what pet owners need to know about this common, preventable condition.

What Causes Heartworm?

Heartworm is caused by a parasitic worm that lives in the heart. In an infected animal, the adult heartworm lives in the chamber of the heart, but baby heartworms circulate through the bloodstream. A mosquito that bites an infected animal can take up these baby heartworms, then deposit them in the bloodstream of another animal through a bite. Once there, the babies migrate towards the heart and grow into an adult heartworm, and the process begins again.

Can Cats Get Heartworm Disease?

Yes, they certainly can! In fact, cats are often more vulnerable to heartworm disease and can experience more severe reactions to heartworm.

Can I Test My Cat for Heartworm?

There are heartworm detection tests for cats, but they can often read negative even if the cat is infected. The best indicator for heartworm is if a cat experiences behavioral changes or other symptoms like respiratory distress.

Is Heartworm Disease Seasonal?

Heartworm is transmitted by mosquitoes, so it’s most common in the summer, when mosquitoes are most active. That said, many mosquitoes can still survive in the winter, so we recommend prevention for dogs and cats year round.

Protect Your Pet Against Heartworm Disease Today!

Without a doubt, the best way to keep your pet safe from heartworm is prevention, and we can help. Our mobile pet clinics feature affordable dog dewormers and cat dewormers, and we provide comprehensive heartworm prevention treatment. Call us today at (800) 427-7973 to find a clinic near you and bring your pet in for a heartworm prevention treatment – no appointment needed!