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Heartworms are an internal parasite that can make pets very sick and can even threaten their lives. Your veterinarian can test pets for heartworm disease and ensure they receive the life-saving treatment they need. At Casillas Veterinary Hospitals, we can provide preventive medications against heartworms and can treat heartworms disease when it occurs.
Heartworms are tiny worms that are transmitted by the bite of a mosquito. The mosquito feeds on the blood of an infected animal, and then transmits the immature worms to another. These tiny worms travel through blood vessels to the heart and lungs where they grow and reproduce, causing increasing health problems for your pet.
An animal with heartworms will develop a cough, have breathing problems, tire easily during exercise and will lose weight. The disease will progress, gradually weakening the animal until the heart and lungs can no longer function.
When you take your pet in for an annual checkup, the vet can administer a blood test to determine if he or she has heartworms. If the animal is free of the parasites, the vet can provide oral heartworm medications that are given once each month. The medication will also protect your pet against hookworms, whipworms and roundworms. A medication to prevent heartworms is also available in injectable form, which will protect the animal for six months or one year.
Once a dog is infected with heartworms, a treatment program can be administered. However, treatment does not always save the animal. There is currently no available treatment for heartworm disease in cats. Veterinarians can only provide supportive care for felines. The best strategy is prevention. Your vet can advise you about the best heartworm prevention methods to protect your pet from this serious disease.
Dr. Casillas and Dr. Castillo understand that your pet is an important part of your family. They are able to use their deep knowledge of veterinary medicine and years of experience to help your pet when illness strikes and to maintain health at all stages of life. Our three locations, in Lynwood, Montebello and East Los Angeles make it easy to provide superior veterinary care for your pet. Call Casillas Animal Hospital today at (323) 726-1525. We look forward to protecting your beloved pet.