What is heartworm?
Heartworm is a parasite that infiltrates the heart, lungs, and surrounding vessels. It is transmitted by mosquitoes and can be life threatening. Treatment for heartworm disease is expensive and stressful for the pet. There are a variety of products available that are effective in preventing Heartworm disease when administered as directed.
What to expect when your pet is scheduled for a heartworm test at CoastView Veterinary:
The Fear Free philosophy is to minimize fear, anxiety, and stress in your pet and we use products that facilitate this.
Your pet will be escorted into an exam room or the treatment area. A technician will draw a small blood sample from your pet while treats are being delivered generously. We use the VetScan Canine Heartworm Rapid Test in our hospital. It requires only a drop of blood and we have results within 10 minutes. Our testing procedure is quick and non-invasive, making it easy to complete with most patients.
Which preventative medications are available?
Our veterinarians recommend Interceptor Plus (milbemycin oxime/praziquantel) as our recommended monthly heartworm preventative. This medication not only prevents Heartworm Disease but deworms monthly for hookworms, roundworms, whipworms, and tapeworms. This minimizes the need for multiple medications to treat a variety of parasites. The tablet is a beef flavored chew and most dogs find it palatable and take it like a treat. Interceptor is easily administered monthly reducing the stress associated with giving pills to you pet.
Is your pet at risk?
Heartworm disease is not as prevalent in California as it is in other areas of the United States (humid environments). However, where there are mosquitos there is the potential for Heartworm Disease. Animals who travel from other regions of the US via rescue or private purchase who have been infected with Heartworm Disease could be potential vectors for the disease.
Mosquitoes can absolutely come inside the house. They are drawn to warm, humid environments. During warmer months our homes are the perfect environment for breeding mosquitoes. Properties that have pools, ponds, birdbaths, water features such as fountains, or any other area where water can pool (trash cans, buckets, pails, etc) are even more desirable for mosquitoes to live and breed.
For additional information on Heartworm Disease please check out our blog article:
Or visit The Heartworm Society website: