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Main West Animal Hospital Canine Heartworm Disease Update

May 15, 2014

Our colder than normal winter has left Welland and the Niagara Region with a lot of moisture on the ground.  This spring is wetter than normal and that provides an ideal breeding habitat for mosquitoes. The Main West Animal Hospital in Welland would like to remind everyone of the importance of having your dog tested for Heartworm disease annually and using preventative medication dispensed by your veterinarian.

Heartworm disease is transmitted by mosquitoes and is a real threat to dogs in the Niagara Region.  It is a silent killer because it is often fatal to infected dogs but can take 1-3 years for signs of infection to arise.  During this period the adult worms mature in the heart and lungs- slowly disrupting the blood flow to these vital organs and causing irreversible damage.  At the Main West Animal Hospital we find that dogs that are infected act normally and are major source of infection to other dogs in their vicinity  Typically once a dog shows signs of heartworm infection treatment is very dangerous and some infected dogs die even with aggressive medical care.

Fortunately we can prevent this disease in dogs by using monthly preventative medication.  Medication is easy to administer to your pet and can be given by mouth or applied to the skin, typically only once a month.  The Main West Animal Hospital recommends that this medication should only be given after your dog has had a confirmed negative Heartworm test.  Giving Heartworm medication to dogs that have not had a negative heartworm test that year can be dangerous. Infected dogs can have severe and potentially life threatening reactions after the medication is given.

We know how important your dog is to your family, let the Main West Animal Hospital help you keep them healthy.  If you haven’t yet had your dog tested for heartworm this year it’s not too late.  Give us a call to set up an appointment for your dog.  Our skilled staff needs to take only a small blood sample to perform this test and we can get them started on the best preventative medication to keep them safe this summer.

Call us today 905-735-7877, or Request an appointment online –  https://mainwestvet.com/pet-resources/veterinarian-appointment/

More information on Canine Heartworm disease can be found at:  http://www.heartwormsociety.org/pet-owner-resources/canine-heartworm.html