Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal disease in pets in Singapore and many other parts of the world. It is caused by 30cm-long worms (heartworms) that live in the heart, lungs and sometimes blood vessels of affected pets, causing severe lung disease, heart failure and damage to other organs in the body.
Dogs are a natural host for heartworms, which means that heartworms that live inside the dog grow into adults, mate and produce offspring. If untreated, their numbers can increase, and dogs have been known to harbor several hundred worms in their bodies!
It is spread by mosquitoes and a single bite from an infected mosquito carrying the microfilaria (baby heartworm) could infect your dog.
Cats could also potentially get heartworm but unlike dogs, usually only have low numbers of the parasite. Below are some clinical signs that may indicate the presence of heartworm.
If a dog becomes infected, the resulting heartworm disease can cause life-long damage. Treating heartworm infection and killing the adult worms that infect the dogs heart, lungs and arteries is EXPENSIVE and can potentially even be fatal due to the organ damage already caused by the parasites. The treatment period takes a minimum of 270days to completely clear your dog of heartworm and would require multiple vet visits. During the treatment period, pets must be kept quiet and given oral medications daily also.
This is why PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE!
In the month of June, we would like to encourage anyone who is not already using heartworm prevention, to get your pet checked. We will be offering special rates on:
1) heartworm blood tests
2) xrays of chest to check heart size
3) monthly heartworm preventions (eg. Heartgard, Nexgard Spectra, Triheart, Revolution)
Call us to make an appointment to get your pet tested for heartworm and discuss about the most cost effective and convenient prevention methods. Prevention is always the best option, as damage from heartworms can be permanent.