Heartworm Prevention and Treatment

Just as you would keep your family members safe, we do everything in our power to keep our pets safe. Heartworm is a serious parasitic infection that, if left untreated, can be fatal.  With an easy to administer medication, heartworm is easily prevented. Let's learn more about heartworm and understand how a veterinarian may help.


What Is Heartworm?

Heartworm is a parasitic worm that lives inside the body. While a heartworm infection most commonly impacts cats and dogs, other mammals, including coyotes, foxes, and ferrets, are also subject to infection. Heartworm can grow to incredible sizes, reaching over a foot long, eventually constricting the heart's internal cavity. Heartworm is a severe and potentially fatal disease. Luckily, heartworm infections are entirely preventable with easy to administer medication.  

How Can I Prevent Heartworm?

Heartworm infection starts with the mosquito. This tiny insect can carry the heartworm larvae in its system. As the mosquito travels from animal to animal, continually drawing blood to feed, it can deposit heartworm larvae into your pet's body. Over time, the larvae develop into adult worms, posing serious health concerns.

The best way to defeat heartworm is to stop the initial infection, killing the larvae. Several heartworm treatments are available for pet owners, and many are administered in a simple chewable medication dosed just once a month. Ask your veterinarian today about the best type of heartworm preventative for your pet. Many preventatives are effective against several parasitic worm species.  

What Does Heartworm Treatment Look Like?

Of course, the best way to treat heartworm is to prevent these parasites in the first place. However, even with the best care, an animal can contract heartworm. Because heartworm can be an invasive and aggressive parasite, a veterinarian will often treat heartworm with potent medication.

Usually, melarsomine is used to treat adult heartworms. This medication is administered in an injectable treatment, which consists of several consecutive injections spread out over a month. Depending on the severity of the infection, most veterinarians will also prescribe an antibiotic to fight potential bacterial infection caused by the heartworm.  

Schedule an Appointment with Our Veterinarian for Heartworm Treatment in Knoxville, TN

At Callahan Animal Hospital, we have provided residents of Knoxville, TN with reliable veterinary care services for many years. Call us today at (865) 938-0243 for more information on parasite prevention or to schedule an appointment for many years. 


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