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Heartworm Disease

(en español)

Heartworm cycleHeartworm infection, caused by Dirofilaria immitis parasite, through a mosquito bite (mosquitoes can bite your neighbour´s pets and then yours), it affects both cats and dogs. Although prevalence is higher in some areas than in others, the disease has been widespread, it was diagnosed in Quepos and in almost the whole Pacific area in Costa Rica. Dogs and cats that are heartworm infected may or may not be symptomatic.

The prevalence of heartworm infection is increasing, probably because of the movement of infected dogs and because not testing our dogs. Dogs who live outdoors are more exposed to the disease.

How to indentificate the problem in our pets? They can have cough, respiratory problems, exercise intolerance, vomiting (cats), and serious heart problems causing death. Call the vet and we will do some blood samples for check the health status of your best friend.

Treatment? Here in Costa Rica it is not easy to get the right medication and is very expensive so the best is PREVENTION, should be the primary aim of the veterinarian. It is much easier than treatment. Puppies should be started with preventive medication when they are 6 to 8 weeks old, they do not require testing at that time but should be tested between 6 to 12 months and adults should be tested once per year.

Ask your vet the best product for our buddies, in Costa Rica we have pills such as Heartguard, Endogard, etc. Let’s go to protect our best Friends!

Dra. Fabiola Quesada/ Vet House Calls
(506)88 48 01 03


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