Thursday, 5 June 2014

Heartworm Media Release

23 April 2014

Preventing Parasites in Pets

The Australia Veterinary Association (AVA) is urging dog owners to take precautions against heartworm as Sydney prepares for the wetter months.

Heartworm is a parasite which is passed from animal to animal by the bite of a mosquito.

AVA spokesperson, Dr David Neck said that significant mosquito numbers brought about by heavy rain and floods increases the risk of disease. 

"After floods and heavy rain, areas can remain damp for some time, creating the perfect breeding ground for mosquito-borne diseases like heartworm."

"Heartworm is a serious disease and can be deadly. Parasites can be found in the arteries of the lungs in infected cats and dogs although dogs are considered the most common hosts for heartworms. Worms multiply and release offspring into the dog's bloodstream, causing damage to organs in the body."

"Heartworm can be difficult to treat once a dog has been infected so we can recommend that owners visit their local vet for the most appropriate treatment to prevent heartworm. Prevention can be as easy as an once a year injection or monthly tablet," Dr Neck said.

Signs of heartworm include:
  • Lethargy
  • Tiring easily with exercise
  • Coughing
  • Loss of appetite
  • Enlarged or swollen abdomen
"If you think your dog may be infected you should talk to your vet immediately about specific diagnostic testing and treatments". 

Please note: 

Heartworm Disease can be prevented in cats with Advocate or Revolution spoton treatments given on a monthly basis. 

Heartworm disease can be prevented in ferrets with Advocate spoton treatment given on a monthly basis.

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