Sierra Veterinary Clinic: Pet Blog

Tips on caring for your pets from the Veterinarians and staff of Sierra Veterinary Clinic in Stockton, California.

Have a Heart for Heartworm Awareness

Have a Heart for Heartworm Awareness

You’ve probably heard of “heartworm” disease, but what do you really know about it? Heartworm is a dangerous disease and should be a genuine concern for you if you’re a dog owner. Luckily, prevention is easy and affordable.

What is Heartworm Disease?

Once considered a parasite mainly of southern climates, heartworm disease is now considered a real risk for pets in all 50 states. Unfortunately, it is estimated that 1 million dogs in the U.S. suffer with heart- worm disease today.

Heartworm is a life-threatening parasite transmitted by mosquitoes and is caused by worms that manifest themselves in your dog’s heart, lungs, and arteries. These parasites will mature into adults, mate, and produce offspring. If left untreated, their numbers can increase to several hundred worms and may grow to be 14-inch-long adults.

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What happens when your dog tests positive for Heartworm

What happens when your dog tests positive for Heartworm

Heartworm is a disease that is transmitted by mosquitoes. It is an issue in our area, and indoor pets are also at risk. Prevention of this condition is easy and inexpensive, especially when you compare it to the expense of trying to treat the disease, the pain it causes your pet, and often the heartbreak of losing your pet.

In cats there is no treatment, and 1-2 worms can result in death. For canines, the treatment involves using a medication that is a form of arsenic. The treatment process itself has risks and is expensive; the exact therapy process and risk is dependant upon your pet's stage of illness.

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Springtime Pest and Parasite Prevention

Springtime Pest and Parasite Prevention

The weather has warmed up, and both you and your pets are probably spending more time outside. The warmer weather also increases exposure to fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, and other parasites, which can cause problems ranging from annoying itching, all the way to potentially fatal conditions like Heartworm.

This spring promises to be even worse than normal due to the mild winter and early warm weather. We're already seeing an unusually high number of cases relating to fleas and ticks coming into the clinic.

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Heartworm prevention for your dog and cat is now more critical than ever

Heartworm infection in pet heart

The past few years we have seen a rise is this terrible disease in our area. Last year our clinic identified 9 new cases, and so far this year we have already diagnosed 5. This is significant when you consider that 10 years ago we might find a case each year or every other year, and mainly in animals that traveled outside the area. Now it is happening with patients that have lived here their entire lives. 2 of the patients that were diagnosed so far this year have been on prevention during this year; but missed some months.

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