Heartworms and internal parasites can be devastating to your pet’s health. External parasites may be slightly easier to find, due to the added visibility. It is important to know the signs of heartworms and other internal parasites, so that you can get them veterinary care.
Heartworms are parasites that live in an animal’s heart, lungs, or other blood vessels in their body. They occur when an animal is bitten by an infected mosquito. In natural hosts, such as dogs, the heartworms reproduce rapidly. They must be treated as soon as possible to prevent damage from occurring. Heartworms can cause lasting damage to the heart, lungs, and arteries.
Signs of Heartworms
Heartworms can occur in both dogs and cats, but there are different signs for each. Cats aren’t natural hosts for heartworms, so the worms usually don’t even grow to maturity. However, this doesn’t mean that heartworms don’t cause damage in cats. It is important to have your pet treated for heartworms as soon as possible, to prevent severe damage from occurring.
A dog that has heartworms will tire easily. It will probably have negative respiratory indications. Coughing, shortness of breath, and difficulty breathing are some of the main signs of heartworms in dogs. Similarly, cats will exhibit coughing and difficulty breathing. They will also likely vomit, have diarrhea, and lose weight. Ultimately, your veterinarian will be able to diagnose heartworms through blood testing and x-rays.
Prevention is the best approach for heartworms. Your veterinarian will be able to advise you about the best prevention treatments for your pet. Similarly, your veterinarian will be able to provide care in the event that your pet suffers from heartworms.
Other Internal Parasites
Though heartworms are one of the most common kinds of internal parasites, there are many other kinds. Roundworms can stunt growth in puppies, as well as cause digestive problems. Hookworms can lead to anemia, because they suck blood internally. There are many other kinds of internal parasites, so it is important to know your pet’s regular behaviors and monitor any changes.
Internal parasites can seriously affect your pet’s health. If you think your pet may have an internal parasite, contact us at Borrett Animal Hospital today!