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Heartworm Awareness Month

Don’t Let Your Furry Friend Fall Down The Wormhole…


…heartworm hole that is. “A foot long worm clogging up my sweet baby’s insides? No thank you”. Welcome to April, Heartworm Prevention Month!


Let’s begin by asking the question: “what is a heartworm”? Heartworms are foot long worms that infest the heart, blood vessels, and lungs of our pets. They can eventually cause lung disease and heart failure. The early warning signs that your dog/cat has heartworms can consist of the following: cough, lack of appetite, lethargy, weight loss, difficulty breathing, bulging ribs…


Now, let’s talk about how dogs and cats can get heartworms. Our fur babies can become infected with heartworms through our pesky mosquito “friends”. A mosquito ingests heartworm microfilariae (parasitic larvae, or for the common folks, infant worms) after drinking the blood of an infected animal. A mosquito then bites your fur baby, depositing microfilariae into the wound. From this point, the larvae in your babies’ tissue begin traveling to their hearts. Now, larvae begin developing into adult worms. This is when our animals become very sick. The infestation of their precious heart, pumps newly reproduced microfilariae into your baby’s bloodstream, starting the cycle completely over.