Animal Oasis of the Rockies is a veterinary hospital that is prepared to help protect your pet against heartworm disease and many other health-related issues. We believe that heartworm prevention is one of the most crucial aspects of pet care. That’s why our team is here to educate you about the heartworm parasite and how you can protect your pet from it. Dr. Stacey Huber, Dr. Adrienne Tosto, Dr. Julie Dobbs, and our professional staff are dedicated to providing pets the protection and treatment they need to live long and healthy lives.


What Is Heartworm Disease?

Heartworm is a parasite that can easily affect the health and well-being of cats and dogs. After being bitten by a mosquito, dogs and cats become the hosts for these parasites. These worms multiply inside the pet’s arteries and heart. Heartworm disease can cause heart failure, organ destruction, lung impairment, and in some cases, can even lead to death. This disease often leads to irreversible damage, so prevention is significantly better than treatment for your pet. 

How to Tell If Your Pet Has Heartworms

Be aware heartworm disease will cause different symptoms in cats and dogs. Heartworms are more common in dogs than cats, as they happen to be better hosts and are usually more likely to come into contact with mosquitos. However, you will have to pay closer attention to cat symptoms as they are very similar to other diseases and conditions.  Here are some common signs and symptoms of heartworm disease:

For Dogs

  • If your dog has hard and heavy breathing 
  • If your dog has lost a significant amount of weight 
  • If your dog has a swollen belly 
  • If your dog shows little to no interest in being active
  • If your dog has a dry cough 

For Cats

  • If your cat frequently vomits
  • If your cat starts to lose their appetite 
  • If your cat stops playing and moving around the house (this decrease can happen slowly or all at once)
  • If your cat experiences significant weight loss

Preventative Care or Treatment 

The best treatment for heartworm is preventative care. There are two common types of treatment for cats and dogs, but you will need to take them to our animal hospital to be prescribed by one of our veterinarians. Using monthly chewable pills or topical medications you can protect your pet against heartworms. Some heartworm treatments are specifically designed to target heartworms, but most medications also contain preventatives for other parasites such as tapeworms, roundworms, hookworms, and whipworms.