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At Lone Star Animal Hospital, a preventative care plan will be constructed based on your pet’s age, breed, lifestyle, and any underlying health conditions. Preventative care helps to identify diseases early, thus having more options for treatment and intervention. It also allows us to prevent some diseases, and a tailored vaccine plan will be made for your pet.

Annual, or semi-annual, physical examinations with a doctor are a very important part of preventative medicine, as are diagnostics. We have the capability of running in-house bloodwork, as well as sending samples out to a veterinary-specific diagnostic laboratory. Screening for internal parasites yearly and staying current on heartworm prevention year-round are recommended as well. Should any concerns be found after physical exam or after any diagnostic screenings, they will of course be discussed and a treatment plan made.

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Heartworm can cause some heart problems including heart failure as well as some breathing issues.

Video Transcript:

Hi, thought I'd talk today a little bit about heartworms and just explain a little bit about the life cycle of heartworms, as well as how we prevent heartworm disease in dogs. So heartworms are contracted by a dog when an infected mosquito bites. It actually takes six months for heartworms to run through their whole life cycle into an adult worm. They do live in the heart, in the pulmonary artery. Certainly can cause some heart problems including heart failure as well as some breathing issues. Set up a lot of inflammation and even fibrosis or scar tissue in the lungs and that can last for the dog's lifetime. So some dogs don't make it through a heartworm infection or the heartworm treatment. So really, really, really important to prevent heartworms in dogs. There's a variety of products out there.

The one that I actually like the best is Sentinel. Sentinel is a once monthly flavor tablet. It is your heartworm prevention. It also does not let flea eggs hatch and it also is prevention for internal parasite. Roundworms, hookworms and whipworms. So it does really three things. All of those are really important, but especially heartworms. So typically even dogs on heartworm prevention should get heartworm tested yearly. It's such a bad disease that we really want to stay on top of it and know we're doing the right thing for your dog.

If your pet is due for their annual or semi-annual exam, please call us.