Sydney Mobile Vet Service

Mon / Fri 7:30 am - 7 pm

Sat 9 am - 4 pm

Heartworm

Many people are aware of heartworm prevention medication for dogs and cats, but not everyone understands heartworm disease.

Heartworm is a serious and often fatal condition that can spread easily – which is why heartworm prevention is crucial.

Our home vet care includes comprehensive heartworm prevention… to best maintain the ongoing health of your much-loved dogs and cats.

Heartworm explained

Heartworm explained


Unlike the other intestinal worms that we treat, heartworm is spread by mosquitoes rather than between pets.

When an infected mosquito bites your dog or cat, they pass infective heartworm larvae into your dog or cat’s bloodstream. The larvae grow into adult heartworms which then reproduce, making ‘microfilariae’ (or baby heartworms). Mosquitoes ingest the microfilariae when they bite the dog or cat to feed – and the cycle starts again.

Adult heartworms live in your pet’s heart and the main artery that connects the heart to the lungs. They can reproduce in massive numbers, severely affecting the heart, arteries and the lungs.

Clinical heartworm signs

Clinical heartworm signs


Clinical signs in dogs initially are often restricted to a cough, but usually also include exercise intolerance, difficulty breathing and sudden or gradual collapse. Untreated heartworm infection in dogs is usually fatal.

Treatment may not resolve the disease and some dogs die during treatment, either from the heartworm disease itself or from secondary complications. Treatment is also costly and usually prolonged.

As both the disease and the treatment of the disease can be fatal, our mobile vet strongly recommends using a heartworm preventative.

Effective heartworm prevention

Effective heartworm prevention


Heartworm was once much more prevalent. It is rarer now thanks to very effective preventative products – and the uptake of heartworm treatments. Most pet owners are very aware of the importance of treating their pets with a preventative medication.

In the northern tropical parts of Australia, the density of mosquitoes increases and so does the risk of heartworm disease. Whilst heartworm disease is rarer outside tropical environments, we strongly recommend an ongoing course of heartworm prevention – to ensure we don’t see a rise in cases… and above all, to protect your pet.

There are several forms of preventative products available for dogs. A monthly administration of a pipette on the back of the neck is usually combined with other preventative medications such as flea and intestinal worming control. Or our mobile vet can also provide an annual injection during your pet’s annual health check.

Our mobile vet would be happy to discuss heartworm and other vaccination with you at our next home visit. Or feel free to contact us to learn more about heartworm prevention in your pets.

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