The team at Montgomery Veterinary Associates wants to remind you how important prevention is when it comes to your pet’s health. Fleas, ticks, heartworms and other parasites can cause serious health problems for your pet that do not cause visible symptoms. We can perform annual testing and provide appropriate prevention to maximize protection and help ensure your pet’s good health.
Have questions about parasite prevention for your dog or cat? Call Montgomery Veterinary Associates today!
Common Types of Dog and Cat Parasites
There are a few main types of parasites that may cause issues for your pet. Luckily, our team can recommend monthly preventatives to protect your pet and help prevent any serious illness or disease that can be passed to your human family as well. We see a few common types of parasites in our area, including:
Popular Heartworm FAQs
Heartworms are parasitic roundworms that do not initially cause any visible symptoms. As the disease progresses, your pet may lose their appetite, exhibit weight loss, experience breathing problems or even heart failure.
Mosquitos are a common source of heartworm, though not all carry the infection. Because of this, it is very important to routinely bring your pet in for testing and continually administer heartworm prevention medication.
Yes, both dogs and cats can be infected by heartworm.
Initially, dogs may not show any symptoms at all. However, as the infection progresses, the following symptoms can develop:
- Mild coughing
- Unusual fatigue
- Loss of appetite
- Unwillingness to exercise
- Weight loss
Like dogs, cats may not exhibit any symptoms when first infected, but eventually might show symptoms including:
- Asthma attacks
- Poor appetite
- Weight loss
Blood testing may be performed to confirm heartworm disease. Radiographs or echocardiograms are another way to diagnose heartworms.
It’s possible that a blood test won’t come back positive because the infection isn’t producing a significant amount of the antigen. More testing may be required for an accurate diagnosis.
Prevention is key to protecting your pets from heartworms and any other parasite previously mentioned. Make sure your pet is up to date on any prevention medication to maximize their protection.
In relation to heartworms, you can keep mosquitos away from your pets by using screens, keeping windows and doors closed, and ensuring there is no stagnant water nearby.
When your pet tests negative, you can begin to administer monthly medication, or we can provide your dog with a PH-12 injection for 12 months of protection.