Creepy, life threatening parasites, heartworms attack an animal’s heart and cause congenital heart problems if not treated in right time. Heartworms are transmitted from one animal to another, after one is bitten by mosquitoes. They are normally found in the right ventricle of the heart and the blood vessels in the nearby areas.
Adult female worms living in the heart of your pet produce millions of baby parasites that eventually circulate through the body of your pet. Sadly, when a mosquito bites one such infected animal, it actually sucks up the baby worms and transmit them to the next animal it bites. After a new animal is bitten by the heartworm carrying mosquito, the worms would start growing inside the newly infected animal.
After transmitting into the body of a new animal, it takes them around 6-7 months to grow adult and start reproducing. They can be detected only after growing adults. So, before diagnosis an animal lives with these extremely harmful worms for at least 6 months. They are mostly diagnosed through blood tests or X-rays.
As we know that heartworms can spread from animal to animal, it is very much necessary to use preventive measures to protect your cat. Veterinarians are recommending heartworm prevention for dogs across the world, the effect of heartworm in cats is also increasing. So, vets are also recommending prevention for cats.
To protect your pets from heartworm diseases you can take the following measures:
- Puppies, reached the age of 8 weeks, should be given a heartworm preventative.
- Once they become 7 months old, even if your puppy is taking preventive medicine, they should be tested for heartworms.
- Dogs should be tested on a regular basis every 2 to 3 years if your dog is given preventive medication every year.
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