If you’ve brought your dog in for a visit with us at Moorpark Vet, then you have probably heard our doctors stress the importance of heartworm prevention. You might be asking what exactly are heartworms and why is it so important to prevent them?

Heartworms are parasites carried by mosquitoes that can infect your pet’s heart and lungs and can cause serious medical conditions such as severe lung disease, heart failure, and damage to other organs of the body. However, many dogs that have been infected with heartworm disease exhibit few if any symptoms. So how can we prevent infection or catch it before it worsens? Heartworm testing through blood work is a fast and simple way to check for the presence of heartworms. This test is recommended for patients 6 months and older on a yearly basis to ensure that no infection is present. Once the test comes back negative, it’s time to discuss options for heartworm prevention. Here at Moorpark Vet, we have several options for heartworm prevention, two of which come highly recommended by our doctors and staff. 

The first recommended option is a once-a-month chewable treat called Heartgard. This prevention is perfectly safe for pups 8 weeks and older and, as an added bonus, acts as a dewormer for a few other common parasites as well. For those pet parents who have their pups on the flea and tick prevention Nexgard, this may be a good option to consider as you can give both chews at the same time. The second option we like to recommend for pet parents is called Proheart which is an injectable form of heartworm prevention that lasts an entire year. Proheart is just as effective as Heartgard and other forms of prevention and is convenient because you do not need to remember to give your pet the chews every month. 

Be sure to speak with your doctor to find out which option is right for your pup. Whichever you choose, your pup will be safe and protected!

For more information, please visit: https://www.heartwormsociety.org/heartworms-in-dogs

Written by: Kelcey Correa
Published by: Nicole Lapp