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At Paws & Claws Pet Medical Center, our veterinarians know how dangerous and uncomfortable parasites are. We believe every pet deserves a parasite-free life, so we're committed to preventing and fighting all pet parasites, especially heartworm and other internal parasites that can wreak havoc on internal organs. Heartworm is a common but potentially deadly parasite that affects both dogs and cats, causing spaghetti-like worms to take over the heart. The good news: dogs can usually recover with a proper treatment plan.
Early diagnosis and treatment could make all the difference for your pet. If your dog tests positive for heartworm or you notice symptoms of heartworm, it's important to call your vet at Paws & Claws. We offer heartworm treatment plans for dogs of all ages in Gresham and Troutdale, including the following essential services:
During a successful heartworm treatment, mature heartworms will begin to die inside your dog's body. This is a good thing, but it comes with an unintended side effect: their dying bodies release bacteria that causes inflammation and possible infection. To prevent infection as your dog's treatment takes effect, we get ahead of the problem with a course of dog antibiotics before treatment. These antibiotics prevent your dog's immune system from waging an attack that could make the infestation's effects even worse. Your vet may also prescribe steroids to reduce inflammation.
Before your veterinarian can tackle the adult heartworms in your dog's body, they must prevent new adults from forming. The first step in most heartworm treatments is to kill larvae and immature heartworms so that the condition doesn't worsen. Some heartworm preventatives are actually designed to kill eggs and larvae before they turn into adult worms, so your Troutdale vet will most likely prescribe or directly administer a preventative medication before treatment. After treatment, your dog should continue to receive this heartworm preventative every month.
After your dog is done with antibiotics and steroids, it's time to start the heartworm treatment. It takes about 60 days to complete the full treatment, which will involve a series of injections into the back muscles. Each injection contains a compound that kills adult worms, and your veterinarian will monitor your dog closely after each injection to prevent serious reactions. The goal of our treatment is to kill all the larvae and heartworms in your dog's body, but we will re-test six months later to make sure your dog is still heartworm-free.
During treatment, your dog may continue to experience side effects of the heartworm infestation. Common heartworm symptoms include a dry cough, exhaustion, rapid breathing, weight loss, and a bulging chest. Your dog's veterinarian will treat these side effects to help keep your pet comfortable and minimize risks during recovery.
Does your dog have heartworm disease? Act now to save their life. Call Paws & Claws Pet Medical Center at 503-661-1833 to schedule your dog's heartworm treatment in Troutdale, OR today.