Heartworm disease is a potentially fatal, but easily prevented condition affecting dogs and less commonly cats. Animals contract heartworm from the bite of a mosquito. As we have started to see cases of West Nile disease in our area over the past ten years, we have also started to see small numbers of dogs with heartworm disease. With this disease, parasites attach themselves to the major pulmonary vessels leading from the heart into the lungs, and can cause symptoms such as persistent cough, fatigue, reduced appetite, and weight loss. We can help you protect your pet from heartworm disease with a monthly chewable preventative. This medication also controls against roundworm and hookworm infections, which can be transmitted to people especially young children.
We are lucky that fleas and ticks are rarely seen in Northern Nevada. However, it is important to remember that fleas and ticks are plentiful on the western side of the Sierra Nevada in California. Ticks can transmit serious diseases such as Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Ehrlichiosis, and Anaplasmosis. Many of these diseases have symptoms that are vague and/or mild until the disease has progressed. If you will be traveling with your pets to California (or Oregon and Washington) anytime of year, you should apply flea and tick medications before leaving on your trip. We have safe and effective parasite preventatives available at our hospital.
For more information about protecting your pet from heartworm, fleas, and ticks this season, call us today to speak with one of our staff members – we are here to help!