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Our vet services in High Springs, FL keeps your pet in good health

We feel the most important thing we do here at the High Springs Animal Hospital is to promote preventative care.  For puppies and kittens, we have puppy and kitten well health packages which cover the major steps in health care during the first year of a new pet's life.  We then send reminders when out patients are due to their annual vaccinations and physical.  As our pets age, new aspects of their health care needs will come into the forefront.  We do not consider "old age" to be a disease.  It is a natural process, which brings with it a variety of changes which can affect your pet's quality of life.  By identiying those changes early, we have much higher success rate in keeping the pet as healthy as possible for as long as possible.


Hope - Before & After Photos

 


What are Heartworms?

Heartworms, true to their name actually are a worm, and can reach 12 inches in length.  Hundreds have been found in the hearts of infected dogs and cats.  They attach to the inner wall of the right side of the heart, destroying the heart muscle and clogging arteries leading from the heart to the lungs.


How common are Heartworms?

In Florida, studies have shown that 99 out of 100 dogs and 1 out of every 100 cats are not maintained on heartworm prevention will become infected with heartworms.  Heartworms used to be a problem only in the Southeast, but now have been found all over the country as infected dogs traveling with their families have brought the disease with them.


How does an animal get Heartworms?

Heartworms are transferred from one animal to another by mosquitoes.  The mosquito picks up the infective ( larval) form of the heartworm on its mosquito can fly for miles with the baby heartworm still attached to its feeding apparatus.  It then injects the baby heartworm ino the next animal it bites.  The baby heartworm will then migrate in the bloodstream to the heart, where it will attach itself and mature into the adult heartworm.



What if my pet has heartworms?

If not treated, most animals will eventually succumb to heart failure and other complications associated with the parasites.


What are the symptoms?

A persistent cough is often the earliest sign.  Later in the disease, there may be increased difficulty breathing, loss of stamina, weakness, loss of appetite, weight loss and swelling of the abdomen.


How can the animal be treated?

Dogs can be treated with medicaton which actually removes the worms from the heart.  The treatment involves a 3 day hospital stay while the medication is administered, a 6 week rest period, and then a second treatment to remove the second generation (immature) heartworms.  Currently, no medications are approved to treat heartworms in cats, however the symptoms may be controlled with medication.


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