Heartworm Disease

Heartworm disease is a very serious and potentially fatal disease in dogs. This disease is spread by the bite of an infected mosquitoe. An infected mosquito will pass lava through the tissue into the blood stream when it bites a dog. These micrifilaria will grow into long worms (heartworms) up to 12 inches in length. They live and grow in the heart, lungs and associated blood vessels causing severe lung disease, heart failure and will cause damage to other organs in the body.  Few symptoms or no symptoms at all may be seen in the early stages of the disease. Therefore, it is important to test all dogs who have been potentially exposed to heartworm prior to administering preventative medication. Prevention is the best option. Some symptoms of the disease can include a mild persistent cough, fatigue after moderate activity or reluctance to exercise, decrease in appetite and weight loss. It is strongly recommended to ensure your pet is negative for heartworm disease prior to giving preventative medication. A monthly chew-able tablet can be given during mosquito season, especially when traveling to areas where heartworm is prevalent  such as Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and Unites States.

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