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If watching your pet suffer from a terrible disease is an unthinkable prospect, then you have good reason to be concerned about heartworm. This parasitic infestation can seriously degrade your pet's heart and lung function or even cause sudden death in some animals. Fortunately, many cases of heartworm can be treated successfully -- and Callfield Companion Animal Clinic provides such treatment for pets in Wichita Falls, Burkburnett, Iowa Park and Holliday TX.
Heartworm is an ongoing cycle perpetuated by everyone's least favorite insect, the mosquito. Mosquitos who feed in infested animals draw heartworm larvae into their own bodies and then inject those larve into your pet during a bite. The larvae move to the heart and lungs, where they develop into long, spaghetti-like worms. These worms interfere with normal organ function and do serious damage to the heart and lungs, causing your pet to suffer cardiopulmonary failure. The worms live much longer in dogs than they do in cats -- but cats face the additional danger of violent, deadly toxic reactions when the worms inside them die.
If your pet is displaying fatigue, weight loss, coughing and other possible heartworm symptoms, bring him to our clinic right away. Your Wichita Falls vet, Dr. Elisa Spears or Dr. James Spears, can diagnose the infestation and take immediate steps to get it under control. We start with a combination of preventative drugs to kill any larvae and powerful anti-inflammatory and antibiotic drugs to fight the bacteria adult worms produce when they die. We can then administer multiple injections over a period of several weeks to kill the adult worms. Your pet will need a follow-up examination 6 months after completing treatment to check for any remaining signs of infestation. Worms that block major blood vessels may require surgical removal.
The treatment method listed above works for dogs, but not for cats. Sadly, there is nor current drug regimen safe enough to be used on felines. This is because the medications kill the worms, which could easily trigger a fatal reaction. It may be possible, however, to perform surgery to remove your cat's worms.
As you can see, heartworm treatment is a challenging job, even for a skilled vet team like ours. The easiest way to deal with heartworm is to prevent it, which is why we urge pet owners to put their beloved animals on a routine of preventative medications. These products often protect against other types of worms as well, adding to their value in keeping your furry family member safe and healthy.
Whether your pet requires heartworm treatment or heartworm prevention, do the right thing for him today. Call Callfield Companion Animal Clinic at (940) 692-7000 to schedule the necessary care!