What can I expect if my pet undergoes heartworm treatment?
Heartworm treatment is majorly different to heartworm prevention. Once a positive result is obtained from the in-house test, another blood sample needs to be collected and sent to the IDEXX pathology labs to get an official positive result.
Because of the risk of causing further complications, treatment needs to be slow and strict. The projected time-frame for any heartworm treatment plan can last between 12-14 months, with follow up tests done after it is completed.
Here at Narangba Veterinary Clinic, we follow the treatment protocol as outlined by the American Heartworm Society for dogs. More information can be found here: https://www.heartwormsociety.org/.
Once successfully eradicating heartworm from the pets’ system, a maintenance heartworm prevention (as outlined below) can then be given.
Current scientific studies have determined that prevention is the best form of heartworm control. As long as your pet is up to date on heartworm prevention, the risk of them contracting the deadly parasite significantly decreases.
Tablet – for dogs, products such as Milbemax and NexGard Spectra are a monthly tablet that has heartworm coverage as part of their prophylaxis. Tablet form of prevention can be given to animals from 6-8 weeks old. In relation to cats, products like Bravecto Plus, Revolution Plus and Milbemax are also readily available.
Yearly injection – for dogs, the Proheart SR12 product is given as an injection for heartworm prevention. For puppies, it starts off as 1x injection at 3 months old, with a 1x injection booster at 6 months old, then yearly thereafter. Cats unfortunately cannot receive this yearly injection, and must be kept up to date with an appropriate tablet that has heartworm prevention as described above.
Heartworm prevention, along with flea, tick and intestinal worm prevention, are the foundations to keeping your pets happy, healthy and disease free.
Call the clinic today if you have any further queries regarding this topic!