Veterinary Blog

Protect Your Pet During Heartworm Awareness Month: Tips from Your Chilliwack Veterinarian


Spring has sprung at Vedder Mountain Veterinary Clinic, and with the warmer weather comes increased activity — for both us and our furry companions! But along with those blooming flowers and playful afternoons in the park comes a potential health threat: heartworm disease.

April is National Heartworm Awareness Month, and we want to remind you to protect your pet from this serious, yet preventable, illness.

What is Heartworm Disease?

Heartworm disease is a potentially fatal parasitic infection that affects dogs, cats, and even ferrets. Mosquitoes act as carriers, transmitting microscopic heartworm larvae to pets during a blood meal. These larvae mature into adult worms inside your pet’s heart and lungs, wreaking havoc on their internal organs.

Signs and Symptoms of Heartworm Disease

Early detection is crucial for successful treatment. Here are some signs to watch for in your pet:

  • Mild, persistent cough
  • Fatigue and lethargy
  • Difficulty breathing, especially after exercise
  • Weight loss
  • Anorexia
  • In advanced stages, abdominal distension or bulging

The Power of Prevention

Thankfully, heartworm disease is easily preventable with year-round medication. Here at Vedder Mountain Veterinary Clinic, we offer a variety of heartworm prevention options to fit your pet’s needs and lifestyle.

Treating heartworm disease is significantly more expensive, complex, and risky than prevention. Medications can be harsh on your pet, and the recovery process can be lengthy. And while treatment may eliminate infestations, it cannot undo any heart or lung damage caused by the devastating parasites.

Additional Tips for Heartworm Awareness Month

Schedule an appointment: Discuss your pet’s risk factors and explore the most effective prevention strategy with their veterinarian. If your furry friend needs a veterinarian in Chilliwack, we’d love to help!

Maintain consistent prevention: Don’t skip doses! Even a single missed dose can leave your pet vulnerable. Give your pet their heartworm medication in the winter, too. Mosquitoes are much less prevalent during cold weather, but it’s better to be safe than sorry since it only takes a single bite to transmit heartworm.

Be mosquito-wise: Minimize your pet’s exposure to mosquitoes, especially during peak feeding times (dusk and dawn). Use mosquito repellents labeled safe for pets and eliminate standing water sources around your home where mosquitoes breed. Consider having your lawn treated for mosquitoes to further minimize your pet’s risk of exposure.

Stay informed: National Heartworm Awareness Month is a great time to learn more about this disease. The American Heartworm Society is a valuable resource.

Protect Your Furry Family This Spring with Heartworm Prevention in Chilliwack

April showers may bring May flowers, but don’t let them bring heartworm woes. By following these simple steps, you can keep your beloved pet safe and healthy all year round.

At Vedder Mountain Veterinary Clinic, we are dedicated to providing your furry companion with the best possible care. Contact us to schedule your pet’s appointment today, and let’s work together to ensure a happy and healthy spring season!



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