Inwood Animal Center
At Inwood Animal Center, we are committed to delivering the best available veterinary medicine & are dedicated to serving you and your pet. Our goal is to exceed expectations with each and every interaction we have with our valued clients & beloved patients. We are a full service veterinary medical facility serving the animal healthcare needs of dogs and cats. For more than 40 years our highly skilled, compassionate staff of veterinary professionals have been providing exceptional animal medical care, combined with outstanding boarding & grooming services. We want to become your trusted source for all of your pet’s needs & we look forward to serving you for many years to come!
In an attempt to stay better connected to our clients and to provide better care for our patients, we are pleased to announce that we will be utilizing an automated online client communication system called DemandForce.
What DemandForce offers:
- Allows you, the client, to choose your own communication preference, such as appointment reminders via text/email or both, confirming your own appointments electronically and requesting a preferred appointment day and time online. You can also choose to continue getting reminder calls if you prefer.
- You can receive Annual Care Reminders, Promotions, Newsletters, and Follow-up Satisfaction Surveys. You can opt in or out of any combination of these email communications per your preference.
We assure you that at no time will we provide your information to 3rd parties and the program is 100% HIPAA compliant, respectful of personal privacy, and safe.
National Heartworm Awareness Month
What is heartworm disease?
Heartworm disease is caused by a long string-like parasitic worm called Dirofilaria immitis that lives in the heart, lungs, and major blood vessels of some animals. Infection with these parasites causes a great deal of inflammation inside the heart and lungs, and severely interferes with normal blood flow. Without appropriate treatment, infected pets develop coughing, difficult breathing, heart failure, weight loss, and fluid build-up in the abdomen that usually results in death if not treated.
What types of animals can get heartworm disease?
Heartworms are found in every state and infect many different types of animals, including dogs, cats, ferrets, wolves, foxes, and sea lions. There have even been some very rare reports of humans becoming infected.
Dogs are the primary pets at risk of getting heartworm disease. Any age or breed of dog can be infected.
How is heartworm disease spread?
Heartworm disease is spread by mosquitoes, which transmit immature larvae to unprotected pets through bite wounds. During the 6 or 7 months after a bite occurs, these larvae grow into adults inside the pet’s heart. Without treatment, adult heartworms can live for 5 to 7 years. They often grow up to 12 inches long and look like densely packed strands of cooked spaghetti, filling the lower chamber of the heart that is responsible for sending blood to the lungs.
Adult worms mate, producing offspring called microfilariae that are released into the pet’s bloodstream. A mosquito consumes these microfilariae when it bites an infected pet and, after 10 to 14 days, can pass on the disease by biting other unprotected animals – and the heartworm life cycle continues.
Heartworm Disease Continued..
How can I tell if my pet is infected?
Using a small sample of blood, your veterinarian can run a quick test that will tell if your pet has been infected with heartworms. This test also checks for other common diseases that are spread by ticks, such as Lyme Disease, Anaplasmosis, and Ehrlichiosis.
Can an infected pet be treated?
Yes, but chest x-rays and additional blood tests must be done first to determine how much damage the disease has already caused. Treatment includes administration of several drugs, including an injectable drug that is derived from arsenic and antibiotics to kill both adult and immature worms. Your pet will need to be confined and carefully monitored during treatment, which can take several months and may cause serious side effects (even death). For all these reasons, prevention of disease is always a much better option than treating a pet after it has become infected.
What can I do to prevent heartworms?
Luckily, there are many excellent heartworm preventatives that can be prescribed by your veterinarian. The most common preventative is an oral tablet or chewable that is given every month when mosquitoes are active. Because weather can be unpredictable and some hardy mosquitoes may be able to survive in protected areas during cold months, most veterinarians recommend giving preventative to your pet all year long.
Products to prevent heartworm disease can cause serious problems if they are given to an infected pet. Therefore, it is very important for every pet to be tested before starting on preventative, and at least once every year afterward.
Please contact our clinic if you have any questions or concerns about testing or preventing heartworms in your pet.