How Spring Affects Heartworms in Pets

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NORTH JACKSON — Unfortunately the start of spring also means the arrival of mosquitoes. While they may be annoying to humans, they can also carry dangerous diseases to your pets, like heartworms. Almost 100 percent of dogs exposed to heartworm will develop the disease. While the number is not as high for cats, it can be more deadly because there’s no safe treatment once cats are infected. Cats may show symptoms like coughing, gagging, trouble breathing, vomiting and weight loss. Dogs symptoms range from none at all to coughing, weight loss, exercise intolerance, decreased appetite and a bloated belly. “Let’s spend a little bit of money each month to prevent these terrible parasites that our pets get, and by that way we are keeping them healthy as long as possible,” Jeremy Keen, a local veterinarian said. Heartworm infection in apparently healthy animals is usually detected with blood tests.

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