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ADVICE & CARE

Heartworm - a deadly parasite

Stephanie the Labrador was just coughing all the time.

When Our Vet first examined Stephanie it wasn't obvious she was unwell.  A blood test showed Stephanie had a Heartworm infestation and required immediate treatment to remove the parasites from her heart. This did come with some dangers however and we hospitalised Stephanie so we could watch for any adverse effects of the treatment. These can include worsening of the cough and allergic reactions.  

Fortunately for Stephanie the treatment went perfectly and she has begun long term heartworm prevention to ensure she never has this situation occur again.  

When the Our Vet team discusses parasites (worms, fleas, ticks etc) with pet owners,  we often refer to heartworm as it is the most fatal parasitic worm for dogs.  it is easily transferred from infected dogs to uninfected dogs via a mosquito bite.  When the mosquito takes blood from an infected dog and then bites an uninfected dog it transfers the infection.  This worm then grows to a long ribbon shape within the heart, ultimately causing irreversible and fatal heart failure.  

Heartworm protection is the best cure by far.  Before we start protection for this worm we need to ensure that your dog does not actually have the infection because if we start treatment of an infected dog it can cause some problems. This means all unprotected dogs require a blood test.  

Each dog requires a tailored program and the team at Our Vet can design a plan that will suit you.  Please feel free to talk to us the next time you are in store our call us on 1300 OUR VET and we will help you help your pet.  For Our Vet locations click here.