Heart Worm Prevention

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Google Maps location for Highton Veterinary Clinic

Highton Veterinary Clinic
88 Barrabool Rd
VIC 3216

03 52430077

Heart worms are different from other worms in that they do not live in the intestines, but rather the larvae migrate through the blood before the adults form in the heart, blocking major vessels. Heartworm larvae are transmitted between dogs by mosquitoes that feed on an infected dog's blood before feeding on an uninfected dog.

Affected dogs initially develop a cough and are unable to exercise as normal, however as the condition progresses they develop heart failure and can die.

Heart worm is not present currently in Geelong as the mosquito that transmits it is not in this area. However it is very common in NSW and QLD and now cases are being seen in Victoria, around Bendigo and the Murray and in the parts of Melbourne. If you intend to travel with your dog we definitely recommend starting on heart worm prevention. As prevention is by far the best approach as treatment can be difficult and very costly.

Heart worm prevention involves either a monthly chew or spot on or a yearly injection. Most people choose to use the yearly injection as this can be given the same time as the yearly vaccination and then owners don't have to worry about forgetting a dose. However as puppies grow rapidly in their first year, two injections are needed in that first year due to the large change in body size.

Monthly spot ons include products like Advocate or Revolution which also treat for fleas, intestinal worms and other nasties.

Dogs over the age of 6 months that have not already been on prevention require a blood test before commencing heart worm prevention. Once on prevention it is important not to stop or miss a dose