Some delay in seeing your pet may occur depending on our appointment schedule.
Avondale
Animal Hospital   Cat Hospital Rehabilitation Center   Pet Resort
HOURS OF OPERATION Monday 7:00 am - 10:00 pm Tuesday 7:00 am - 10:00 pm Wednesday 7:00 am - 10:00 pm Thursday 7:00 am - 10:00 pm Friday 7:00 am -   7:00 pm Saturday 8:00 am -   7:00 pm Sunday        10:00 am -   7:00 pm Telephone (515) 262-6111
Veterinary Chiropractic & Acupuncture Available on Tuesdays by Appointment
Walk-Ins Welcome
Veterinary Hospital Websites Ireland, Ltd. © 2017  All Rights Reserved   All Images & Content Subject to Copyright  IE #542539 Animal Hospital Website Design by Vet Web Designers - Your Rx for Veterinarian Websites Kendra Ryan Camp Christian Veterinary Fellowship

Heartworm Disease

WHAT IS HEARTWORM DISEASE IN DOGS? Canine heartworm disease develops when a dog is bitten by a mosquito carrying microscopic heartworm larvae (juvenile worms) of a parasite called Dirofilaria immitis. As a mosquito feeds, these microscopic larvae are deposited on the dog and quickly penetrate the skin to begin their migration into the dog's bloodstream. Adult heartworms can grow 10 to 12 inches in length and make their home in the right side of the heart and pulmonary (lung) arteries, often causing lung disease and heart failure. Although easy to prevent, heartworm disease continues to be a major health problem for dogs living in the United States and throughout the temperate and tropical regions of the world. In our area of the midwest alone there are 6-25 "reported" cases. Not every practice reports their positive heartworm cases to the American Heartworm Society. Signs of Heartworm Disease Since some dogs can be infected for many years before symptoms develop, heartworm disease in dogs may not be obvious. But, as heartworms slowly cause damage to the pulmonary arteries of the lungs, signs of disease may include a mild, persistent cough, reluctance to exercise, fatigue after moderate activity, decreased appetite, and weight loss. Eventually, as blood flows through the diseased lungs they become more restricted and some dogs can develop heart failure. This is commonly recognized by a buildup of fluid in the abdomen and the appearance of a "swollen belly."  Although less common, a large number of heartworms can lead to a sudden obstruction of blood flow through the heart and lungs. This blockage often becomes a life-threatening form of cardiovascular collapse and is referred to as a "caval syndrome." Symptoms of caval syndrome often include a sudden onset of labored breathing, pale gums, dark red or "coffee-colored" urine, and an inability or unwillingness to move. Without prompt surgical removal of the heartworm blockage, few dogs suffering from caval syndrome survive. Detecting Heartworm Infection Numerous blood tests are available for detecting heartworm infections in dogs, and your veterinarian will perform the test most appropriate for your dog. Keep in mind that no diagnostic test can accurately detect all heartworm infections. Tests cannot consistently detect infection until heartworms are at least seven months old. Moreover, tests are unable to detect infections if only male worms are present and may miss infections with only one or two female worms. At times, your Avondale veterinarian may recommend the use of x-ray or ultrasound imaging to help in the diagnosis of heartworm disease. They may also repeat the blood test at suggested intervals. Treatment There are several things to consider once a dog is diagnosed with heartworm disease. Without treatment, heartworm disease will worsen and may lead to more serious illness. Unless medical reasons identify a dog as a poor candidate, heartworm-positive dogs should be treated. However, treating dogs for heartworms can also lead to serious health concerns, as these dead parasites may cause further injury to the lungs and pulmonary arteries.  A thorough physical examination, radiographs, and blood and urine tests may be needed prior to treatment to assess your dog's level of risk. Prevention Heartworm preventives are effective when given properly and on a timely schedule. It is important to monitor your pet's weight to insure your pet falls within the weight range listed on the package. All approved heartworm preventives are highly effective, safe, easy to use, relatively inexpensive, and often provide treatment for additional parasites. Prevention is always more safe and affordable than treating dogs with adult heartworm infections.Please remember, it is your responsibility to faithfully maintain the program you have selected in consultation with your Avondale veterinarian. The best way to eliminate the risk of heartworm infection in your dog is to institute a year- round prevention program. Be certain to have all pets tested prior to initiating or restarting any heartworm prevention program, as administration of some preventives can cause life-threatening reactions when given to heartworm-infected pets.
Main Hospital - 515-262-6111 Cat Hospital - 515-262-9222 For Pet Resort | Grooming | Doggie Daycare Phone 515-262-7297 Toll Free - 800-339-4873
Veterinary Healthcare Complex 4318 E Army Post Rd   Des Moines, IA 50320
DES MOINES VETERINARIANS FULL SERVICE ANIMAL HOSPITAL SERVING DES MOINES & SURROUNDING COMMUNTIES
Veterinarians Serving Des Moines | Animal Hospital | Cat Hospital Veterinary Hospital Websites, Ltd.  © 201All Rights Reserved   All Images & Text Subject  to Copyright  IE #542539 Animal Hospital Website Design by Vet Web Designers Kendra Ryan Camp Christian Veterinary Fellowship
WHAT IS HEARTWORM DISEASE IN DOGS? Canine heartworm disease develops when a dog is bitten by a mosquito carrying microscopic heartworm larvae (juvenile worms) of a parasite called Dirofilaria immitis. As a mosquito feeds, these microscopic larvae are deposited on the dog and quickly penetrate the skin to begin their migration into the dog's bloodstream. Adult heartworms can grow 10 to 12 inches in length and make their home in the right side of the heart and pulmonary (lung) arteries, often causing lung disease and heart failure. Although easy to prevent, heartworm disease continues to be a major health problem for dogs living in the United States and throughout the temperate and tropical regions of the world. In our area of the midwest alone there are 6-25 "reported" cases. Not every practice reports their positive heartworm cases to the American Heartworm Society. Signs of Heartworm Disease Since some dogs can be infected for many years before symptoms develop, heartworm disease in dogs may not be obvious. But, as heartworms slowly cause damage to the pulmonary arteries of the lungs, signs of disease may include a mild, persistent cough, reluctance to exercise, fatigue after moderate activity, decreased appetite, and weight loss. Eventually, as blood flows through the diseased lungs they become more restricted and some dogs can develop heart failure. This is commonly recognized by a buildup of fluid in the abdomen and the appearance of a "swollen belly."  Although less common, a large number of heartworms can lead to a sudden obstruction of blood flow through the heart and lungs. This blockage often becomes a life-threatening form of cardiovascular collapse and is referred to as a "caval syndrome." Symptoms of caval syndrome often include a sudden onset of labored breathing, pale gums, dark red or "coffee-colored" urine, and an inability or unwillingness to move. Without prompt surgical removal of the heartworm blockage, few dogs suffering from caval syndrome survive. Detecting Heartworm Infection Numerous blood tests are available for detecting heartworm infections in dogs, and your veterinarian will perform the test most appropriate for your dog. Keep in mind that no diagnostic test can accurately detect all heartworm infections. Tests cannot consistently detect infection until heartworms are at least seven months old. Moreover, tests are unable to detect infections if only male worms are present and may miss infections with only one or two female worms. At times, your Avondale veterinarian may recommend the use of x-ray or ultrasound imaging to help in the diagnosis of heartworm disease. They may also repeat the blood test at suggested intervals. Treatment There are several things to consider once a dog is diagnosed with heartworm disease. Without treatment, heartworm disease will worsen and may lead to more serious illness. Unless medical reasons identify a dog as a poor candidate, heartworm-positive dogs should be treated. However, treating dogs for heartworms can also lead to serious health concerns, as these dead parasites may cause further injury to the lungs and pulmonary arteries.  A thorough physical examination, radiographs, and blood and urine tests may be needed prior to treatment to assess your dog's level of risk. Prevention Heartworm preventives are effective when given properly and on a timely schedule. It is important to monitor your pet's weight to insure your pet falls within the weight range listed on the package. All approved heartworm preventives are highly effective, safe, easy to use, relatively inexpensive, and often provide treatment for additional parasites. Prevention is always more safe and affordable than treating dogs with adult heartworm infections.Please remember, it is your responsibility to faithfully maintain the program you have selected in consultation with your Avondale veterinarian. The best way to eliminate the risk of heartworm infection in your dog is to institute a year-round prevention program. Be certain to have all pets tested prior to initiating or restarting any heartworm prevention program, as administration of some preventives can cause life-threatening reactions when given to heartworm-infected pets.
Veterinary Healthcare Complex 4318 E Army Post Rd   Des Moines, IA 50320
Main Hospital - 515-262-6111 Cat Hospital - 515-262-9222 For Pet Resort | Grooming | Doggie  Daycare Phone 515-262-7297 Toll Free - 800-339-4873