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Does Arizona have Heartworms?
Yes! We do!
 Believe it!

Canine heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal disease that is spread by mosquitoes. When the mosquito bites the dog it ingests a microscopic, immature form of heartworm, called microfilaria. The microfilaria develops into young, infective larvae that are transmitted to another dog when that mosquito bites another dog. Therefore, heartworm disease is more prevalent in areas where mosquitoes are numerous – such as near lakes, golf course, swimming pools. In Arizona, with the addition of such water areas, there has been an increase in cases of heartworm.

Some common signs of heartworm disease in dogs are coughing, lethargy, difficulty in breathing, weightloss and reduced indurance, although these symptoms can be related to many issues. Once the adult worms reach the heart, they then live in the right side of the heart and in the nearby blood vessels. Their accumulation impairs the blood’s circulation, which causes damage to the dog’s heart, lungs, liver and kidneys. It can take several months for this damage to take place before clinical signs occur. Without treatment, the 
disease can lead to congestive heart failure and death.

Diagnosis: There is a simple blood test we perform to detect the heartworm larvae after they have been in the dog’s body for at least six months.

Treatment: Infected dogs can be successfully treated for heartworm disease, especially if detected early. The treatment is to kill the adult worms with a series of injections while the pet is hospitalized.
After all adult worms are eliminated, as noted by repeat blood tests, a second drug is used to eliminate the microfilaria and is used as a preventive. Can be very costly! Repeated veterinary visits for several months, repeated radiographs and blood tests.

Prevention: It is easier, less expensice and safer to prevent heartworm disease than it is to treat it. Most preventive medications are given orally on a monthly basis.

Untreated dogs serve as a constant source of infection. Therefore, it is essential that regular, annual heartworm tests be performed, even if the pet is on preventives. MostVeterinarians recommend using preventive all year round.
Please consult with your regular Veterinarian if your pet is not currently taking a preventative and get him tested and started on a monthly program.
Please ask your Veterinarian for his/her recommended brand of 
Heartworm Preventative.

To See a List of Preferred Veterinarians our TAB for "SUPPORTING BUSINESSES" where they are located near the bottom of the page.

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