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With spring around the corner, it is important to discuss preventative measures for heartworm disease for your animal companion. Heartworm disease is a serious danger with life-threatening consequences for your dog or cat. Our veterinary clinic in Toronto wants pet owners to have access to education, prevention and treatment for their pets. Here is what you need to know about heartworm disease and what you can do to ensure a happy and healthy life for your furry friend.

What is it? Heartworm disease is transmitted through mosquitos infected with heartworms. Heartworms can live in the hearts and pulmonary arteries of cats and dogs. They reproduce and quietly attack the body over months. Dogs are more at risk for heartworm disease than cats. What are the symptoms? Your dog or cat may not show symptoms of heartworm disease until six months after initial infection. Some animals may not show any symptoms at all while others may show several signs of declining health.

  • Lethargy: Your dog or cat may seem more lethargic and sleepy than usual.

  • Decline in exercise: With heartworm disease, a common symptom in animals is a decrease in movement. Your animal may be too exhausted to exercise.

  • Weight loss: It is possible that your dog or cat may lose weight if they are infected with heartworms. Other possible symptoms include vomiting and decreased appetite.

  • Coughing and difficulty breathing: Your dog or cat could develop a mild but persistent cough. They may also have difficulty breathing.

What are the risks? Heartworm disease is a potentially fatal disease for any animal. The illness is entirely preventable but untreated heartworm disease can lead to pulmonary illness, impaired breathing, heart failure and damage to other parts of your pet’s body. It can ultimately lead to death. Prevention and testing Heartworm disease is easily preventable but expensive to treat. With the emergence of mosquitos in the spring and summer, it is important to consider prevention for your pet. At Bellamy-Lawrence Animal Hospital, we can provide heartworm preventative pills and topical liquids that are given once a month to your pet. Our professional teams also offer testing for heartworm for your dog and cat at our veterinary clinic in Toronto. Since 1993, our animal clinic has been dedicated to providing quality care for your pet. We serve Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area such as Ajax, Markham and Scarborough. For more information call us at 416-289-2524. Come in anytime to get your furry friend tested, there is no need for you to book an appointment.

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