Heartworm and Intestinal Parasite Prevention
Your pet is exposed to countless organisms on a daily basis, some of which only become apparent after they've invaded his body and wrecked his health. Heartworm and other parasitic infestations can make your beloved friend terribly ill - but here at The Animal Clinic,
we can protect your pet against these dangerous visitors.
The Heartbreak of Heartworm Infestation in Dogs and Cats
Heartworm is an often-fatal parasitic infestation of the heart and lungs in dogs and cats. This parasite enters the pet's bloodstream through mosquito bites while still in its immature form. In dogs, they grow into long, tangled masses of worms that affect cardiopulmonary function, causing fatigue, breathing difficulties and eventual death if untreated. Cats tend to carry relatively few heartworms, but these invaders can trigger sudden, acute attacks, including fainting, seizures and even death.
Heartworms aren't the only parasitic threats to your dog or cat. Mosquitos can also transfer tapeworms, long, flat worms that hijack nutrients from your pet's digestive system. Hookworms, which can be transmitted through mother's milk or directly through the skin, cause tarry stools, diarrhea, and anemia. The most common parasite of all, roundworms, can inhibit growth in baby animals and cause diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal distention.
Treatment and Prevention Options From Your Veterinarian in Council Bluffs or Glenwood
Whichever veterinarian in Council Bluffs or Glenwood your pet sees, you'll be glad you turned to our experienced team. Treatment for parasite infestations can prove to be tricky, especially where heartworm is concerned. Heartworm treatment in dogs may need to be prefaced with other treatments involving antibiotics (to stamp out a heartworm-related bacterium called Wolbachia), corticosteroids to reduce inflammation, and a heartworm preventative drug to stop any new worms from developing. The heartworm treatment itself may require multiple rounds of medication over a period of months. Cats have it even tougher, since there is no safe heartworm treatment regimen for them at all. Prevention is clearly is smartest and easiest route to take. We can put your pet on a simple monthly medication route to keep heartworm from proliferating in the first place.
Many of the same medications that can prevent heartworm also protect against hookworms, roundworms and/or tapeworms. If your pet already has a problem with one of these parasites, your veterinarian in Council Bluffs or Glenwood will perform fecal testing to identify the intruder and then prescribe the appropriate course of medication. Your pet may also require treatment for diarrhea and dehydration. Following treatment, fecal testing can make sure the parasite is gone. In the meantime, we can instruct on how to reduce the presence of these parasites in your home and yard.
Free Your Pet From Parasites, Schedule an Exam with The Animal Clinic
Give your pet a parasite-free life. Call the Council Bluffs location at (712) 323-0598 or Glenwood location at (712) 527-9454 to schedule parasite testing, prevention or treatment today!