Heartworm Awareness Month

  • Apr 1, 2021
  • Vaccinations
  • Holidays, Tips & Advice

April is Heartworm Awareness Month!

Heartworm disease is a serious canine and feline health concern that threatens animals in all areas. April is Heartworm Awareness Month, however, we strongly recommend having your pet tested for heartworms every 12 months, even if they are already on heartworm prevention. The most obvious signs of heartworm disease are a soft, dry cough, shortness of breath, weakness, and loss of stamina. 

How are Heartworms spread?

Heartworms are spread from animal to animal by mosquitoes and live in the heart and pulmonary arteries of infected animals. The disease can lead to heart failure, as well as permanent damage to the heart, lungs, and liver if not caught early. Sadly, many heartworm-positive dogs are abandoned in shelters. Animals with heartworm disease can be treated, but the best approach to the parasite is prevention.

Precious, a beagle/bluetick coonhound mix who survived heartworm disease!A "Precious" Story

Precious, a 9-year-old beagle/blue-tick coonhound mix, was rescued almost 2 years ago after living on a chain her whole life. When she first came to Galloway Village Veterinary, she had multiple intestinal parasites and tested positive for heartworm disease. Precious went through months of treatment and strict cage rest to keep her safe while the medications were killing the heartworms. Now, Precious is doing great! The treatment worked and she has since tested negative for heartworms. Although she does have some damage to her lungs, it is closely monitored by the wonderful doctors here at Galloway! She now takes Interceptor Plus once a month to prevent her from contracting heartworms again in the future.   

Preventing Heartworm Disease

Luckily, this is a preventable disease! Year-round protection is very important. We offer a few different options for prevention. For dogs, we offer three options: Interceptor Plus, Simparica Trio, and ProHeart. Interceptor Plus prevents heartworms and is an oral tablet given monthly. Simparica Trio prevents heartworms as well as fleas and ticks and is an oral tablet given monthly. ProHeart prevents heartworms and is an injection given every 6 or 12 months. For cats, we offer Revolution Plus which protects from heartworms and other common parasites in just one monthly topical treatment. If you would like to learn more about heartworm disease or find out if your furry friend is properly protected, please call us!