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Heartworm Disease in Pets

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Heartworm disease is a serious, and potentially fatal, parasitic infection that can live in your pet’s heart. Unfortunately, it’s spread by mosquitoes so simply limited exposure isn’t sufficient. But there is an easy, safe and relatively inexpensive way to prevent your pet from becoming infected – heartworm preventatives!

When I saw relatively inexpensive, I know some pet owners question what that means. Heartworm treatment ranges from an average of $450-$1000, depending on the weight of your pet. Heartworm preventative tablets cost $30-$100 for a 6 month supply. Add into that the ability to extend your pets life by years and there is no question which is better.

Living in Georgia, mosquitoes are a given. There is an extended warm season and with that comes those pesky buzzing creatures. And it only takes one of the millions swarming the skies to infect your pet. The transmission is simple and only takes a second.

Once transmission has occurred, the signs of heartworm disease are unremarkable. Symptomatically, after initial transmission pets will likely exhibit no signs of the disease. As the disease progresses, dogs may begin to exhibit coughing that persists, fatigue after exercise and a reduction in appetite. Unremarkable symptoms, at best. The only accurate way to diagnose heartworm disease is through a blood test. Checked annually, it lets your vet know that your pet is or is not infected and they can either prescribe treatment options or a preventative.

Monthly tablet, chewables, topical gels and even injectable products are available for dogs. Some even help prevent other parasites and a few include fleas! Faithfully administering the correct dose each month will ensure your pet has a long healthy and heartworm free life.

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