Heartworm disease is a serious, potentially life-threatening condition caused by parasitic worms transmitted to pets through mosquito bites. These worms can harm your pet’s heart, lungs, and blood vessels, leading to severe health issues and even death if left untreated. Many dogs exhibit few or no symptoms in the early stages of the disease.  As the infection progresses, the likelihood of symptoms increases. Active dogs, dogs with high infectious loads, or those with other health issues often display more pronounced clinical signs and have a higher risk of life-threatening complications.

Signs of heartworm disease can include:

  • a mild, persistent cough
  • reluctance to exercise
  • fatigue after moderate or even minimal activity
  • decreased appetite
  • weight loss

As the disease advances, pets may develop heart failure and exhibit a swollen belly due to fluid accumulation in the abdomen. Heartworm disease poses a serious threat to your pet’s health, but you can help protect them by taking the right precautions. Regular testing, using heartworm preventatives, and minimizing their exposure to mosquitoes can help ensure their hearts stay healthy and strong. Unfortunately, heartworm disease is spreading rapidly throughout North America, including regions of British Columbia that previously were heartworm-free and now pose a risk throughout the spring/summer/fall seasons.

Contact us today and consult with one of our veterinarians to determine the best heartworm prevention plan for your pet. They will consider factors such as travel plans, regional exposure, age, country of origin, travel history, breed, and lifestyle to recommend the most appropriate preventative program.