In addition to administering preventive medications, you should thoroughly check your pets for fleas and ticks on a daily basis if they’ve been outdoors. Although fleas and ticks can be anywhere on your pet’s body, they prefer posting up near the head, ears, neck and paws. You can spot evidence of fleas if you notice little black specks that resemble pepper or bits of dirt. Both the incidence of Lyme disease from tick bites and heartworm from mosquitoes are on the rise around the country. Lyme disease is rarely fatal, but heartworm is more so because often there are no symptoms until the disease is well advanced.
The symptoms of heartworm disease often go undetected until there are multiple worms living in your dog’s heart. They also thrive in the lungs and blood vessels, damaging internal organs and leading to lung disease and heart failure. While heartworm treatment for dogs is available, it is expensive and can be painful for your pet — which is why prevention should always come first.
Administering monthly heartworm preventative medication year-round is your pet’s best defense against heartworm, and annual heartworm tests verify that the medication is working. We have many different types of heartworm preventatives available at Huntington Beach Pet Hospital, and your veterinarian can help you decide which one is best for your pet.
If you’d like to learn more or schedule an appointment, call us at 714-962-3639.