Heartworms are a serious cause of concern for many pet parents, especially canine parents. Heartworms are foot-long worms infiltrating the heart, lungs and other associated blood vessels in pets. They can cause serious damage to your pet’s health and can lead to heart failure, lung failure and damage to other organs. Signs of heartworm can either be minute or acute which is why regular heartworm testing is the best preventative measure you can take to safeguard your pet’s health. To know more about testing or to book an appointment, call us at 905-827-4100.
How does heartworm affect dogs and cats?
Dogs are known to be natural hosts for heartworms which means worms inside them can mature into adults, produce offspring and multiply into hundreds of worms. This can lead to severe and life-threatening illnesses in canines.
Heartworm disease affects cats differently. If infected, only one to three adult worms can be found in cats. However, even immature worms can cause serious damage to their heart and respiratory functions.
What are the symptoms of heartworm in dogs?
Signs to look out for include: mild persistent cough, pale gums, weight loss, laboured breathing, reluctance to exercise, fatigue after moderate activity, decreased appetite, the appearance of a swollen belly due to excess fluid in the abdomen, and dark bloody or coffee-coloured urine.
What are the signs of heartworm disease in cats?
Signs of heartworm can include coughing, periodic vomiting, asthma-like attacks, lack of appetite, or weight loss. Sometimes, it can also include difficulty walking, fainting or seizures, or a swollen abdomen.