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FAQ: Heartworms

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  • What are heartworms?
    • Heartworms are long worms that live within a pet's heart.
  • Who gets heartworms?
    • Mostly dogs get heartworms, but they can occasionally occur in cats.
  • How do they get them?
    • Infected heartworm larvae are injected through the pet by infected mosquitoes.
  • How will they affect my pet?
    • In dogs, heartworms cause difficulty breathing, heart failure, lung disease, liver disease, joint disease, and problems with the nervous system.  In cats, the condition causes respiratory disease and coughing.
  • What are symptoms of heartworms?
    • Increased urination and thirst, weight loss, cough, decreased exercise tolerance, abdominal swelling.
  • What do I do if my pet gets them?
    • Make an appointment at the veterinarian for heartworm treatment, which  kills all of the adult heartworms.
  • What can I do to prevent heartworms?
    • Start heartworm prevention at eight weeks of age.  It costs as little as $8.00 -$25.00 a month and can save your pet's life!

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