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The instances of Heartworm Disease in dogs and cats are high. Cases are reported from every state in the US with a higher concentration on the eastern half of North America. With the entire pet population being at risk, what can pet parents do to prevent Heartworm Disease in their pets?
PetFirst offers pet parents an in depth look at the prevention of Heartworm Disease in dogs and cats, as well as how it is spread and how it can possibly be prevented.
Begin by looking at how Heartworm Disease lives and spreads. Heartworm Disease is carried by mosquitoes and can travel from pet-to-pet infecting each one with the disease. Once a pet is bitten by the mosquito, it takes a little more than six months for the disease to manifest and mature into adult worms. Heartworms affect the pet’s overall pulmonary system, their heart and lungs.
Once diagnosed, the treatment options for dogs can vary. Depending on the severity, the dog may need to be watched by the veterinarian for several days or may be released to their pet parent with medication and caregiving instructions. The treatment process may take weeks for an infected dog to recover.
For cats, there are no products in the US approved for the treatment of Heartworm Disease at this time. Most cats are monitored over time to see if the case subsides with supportive therapy such as prednisone, intravenous fluids, oxygen therapy, and possible antibiotics.
For either pet, the treatment options are extensive, costly and take an extensive toll on our pet’s overall health.
Instead of waiting for a diagnosis, pet parents have affordable choices for preventing. Similar to a vaccine for humans, Heartworm Disease prevention medication builds up your pet’s immunity against the bits of a transmitting mosquito. The treatment options do require a prescription from your veterinarian, but most retail pharmacies carry the medication for your convenience.
It is imperative that pet parents follow the dosage directions based on their pet’s size, as well as the schedule or routine of giving the medication to their pet.
PetFirst offers a pet insurance plan with a Routine Care rider which will help reimburse the expense of Heartworm Disease medication. While the plan doesn’t reimburse for the treatment of heartworm disease, the rider will help cover the prevention expense. Create your custom quote for a Lifetime Accident and Illness plan with a Routine Care rider at www.petfirst.com or contact PetFirst at 877-894-7387.