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American Pet Hospital

What’s all the hype about heartworms?

Women holding dog over shoulders as the dogs tongue is out

What is Heartworm Disease?

Heartworm disease is a very serious, and potentially fatal, disease that is transmitted by mosquitoes. Heartworms spend their adult life in the pulmonary arteries and can cause lasting damage to the heart, lungs, and arteries.

How can my pet get Heartworm Disease?

When a mosquito bites an infected animal, it picks up tiny, immature heartworms. The larvae develop and are then transmitted to another animal when it is bitten by the infected mosquito. Unfortunately, the past 5 years have shown a drastic increase in our mosquito population. Luckily, we can take preventative measures to keep our pets safe.

What can I do to prevent Heartworm Disease?

Prevention is very simple: every month you give a small meat treat to your pet. This treat contains the medicine that prevents heartworms from developing in your pet’s system. Before starting your pet’s preventative treatment, a preliminary heartworm test must be performed. This test is a simple blood test that identifies the presence of adult heartworms. A negative test result ensures that it is safe to begin your pet’s preventative treatment. Treatment without testing puts your pet at risk for serious illness and can even be fatal.

What is the medication used for Heartworm prevention?

HEARTGARD Plus is the #1 veterinarian-recommended preventive on the market. This medication prevents adult heartworms from developing and kills them in the tissue larval stages as well. Here in Las Vegas, it is best to keep your pets on HEARTGARD year-round. Thankfully, this medication only has to be given once a month, and it has been made into a small meat treat to make it even easier to give to your pet!

The health of each of your furry children is very important to us, and we want to help keep them around for as long as possible! Call us today or visit for more information!