Heartworm disease is a serious, sometimes fatal parasitic infection. Heartworm (Dirofilaria immitis) microfilaria are transmitted by mosquitoes and travel through the bloodstream causing damage to blood vessels. The mocrofilaria grow in to larvae, then into adult spaghetti-like strands of worms in the heart and surrounding blood vessels. Left untreated, heartworm disease causes heart failure and death.
Symptoms do not usually present themselves until at least seven months after infestation, and heartworms may live in the pet for as long as three to five years. Common symptoms are chronic cough, unwillingness and intolerance to exercise, difficulty breathing, lethargy, weight loss, fainting, and edema.
Heartworm disease is treatable, but not without risk. PREVENTION is the best defense, and the disease is 100% preventable. Medications such as Revolution and Heartgard Plus administered once a month prevent the disease. Prior to beginning a preventative routine, a simple blood test should be run as part of an annual examination to insure there is no present infestation.
Intestinal Parasites include roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, and tapeworms. Untreated, these parasites often cause diarrhea, vomiting, weight loss, poor coat quality, anemia, severe weakness, or even death. They are all successfully treatable and are usually detected when a fecal (stool) sample is tested as part of an annual exam or as warranted by the presence of symptoms.