Heartworm is a disease that arises through parasitic infestation of Dirofilaria immitis. The dog is the primary host although it can infect cats too and under very rare circumstances even humans. The disease is spread from host to host through the bite of infected mosquitoes. The heartworm inhabits the pulmonary arterial system and the heart of its host. Health problems that arise include damage to the lung vessels and tissues. In serious infections death typically results from congestive heart failure. While dogs all over the United States may become infected with heartworm the risk for infection is higher within 150 miles of the coast from Texas to New Jersey and along the Mississippi River. Many dogs show little to no signs of infection even after the worms become adults. For the first six months of infection, called the prepatent period, the worms are not adults and current diagnostic tests will not be able to detect their presence. Rare symptoms include blindness, seizures, and lameness in the event that a migrating heartworm ends up in the eye, brain or artery in the leg. Sometimes more active dogs will develop a cough. In cases of advanced infection the heartworms will have infested the heart and the animal might exhibits signs of severe weight loss, fainting, coughing up blood, and congestive heart failure finally resulting in death. DV Medical Supply advises clients to encourage preventative treatment among patients.
For four decades, Southern California-based DV Medical Supply, Inc., has served the medical and veterinary professions as a distributor of high-quality supplies and pharmaceuticals. Family-owned since its establishment, DV Medical Supply concentrates on serving its customers as an active partner in the process of creating healthy human and animal communities.
Cat owners can benefit from developing a clear understanding of which vaccinations their pets need. The following represents a basic description of some core vaccinations for most cats, as recommended by a broad cross-section of veterinarians:
A highly contagious disease, feline distemper, or panleukopenia, affects a cat’s nervous and digestive systems, as well as the lymph tissues and bone marrow. Highly effective, the vaccine for this virus presents only low-to-moderate risk.
Another highly contagious viral disease, rabies attacks an animal’s central nervous system and is nearly 100 percent fatal once symptoms appear. Vaccination has proven very effective in preventing rabies.
Vaccinating a cat for feline calicivirus and rhinotracheitis minimizes the severity of these upper respiratory diseases. However, it does not prevent a cat from becoming a disease carrier.
As always, cat owners should consult their pet’s veterinarian for comprehensive information on vaccinations for each animal. A veterinarian will take into account a cat’s age, gender, previous illnesses, lifestyle, and other factors when scheduling vaccinations.
While the sounds and smells of the Fourth of July can be very enjoyable for pet owners this is not so true for their pets. Our furry friends do not understand that the whizzing and booming sounds of fireworks are done in celebration for our Independence Day. To them the holiday can be extremely stress inducing. In preparation for the Fourth of July festivities DV Medical Supply would like to offer pet owners a few tips for the holiday:
- Keep pets somewhere indoors where they feel comfortable and cannot escape from.
- Make sure beforehand that your pet has an up to date ID tag or microchip identification on them in the case that they do end up escaping and running away.
- Even if you are not lighting fireworks debris can end up in your yard that would be dangerous to your pets. Check the yard after the holiday before letting pets out to play.
- Do not feed your pet human foods. It may be very tempting to indulge your pet in the foods being served during the holiday but common summer treats that humans love can be very toxic to them. For example never feed a pet beer, grapes, or avocado.
- Keep fireworks away from pets. Even unused fireworks should be monitored since they can be toxic to our curious, furry friends.
DV Medical Supply reminds pet owners that July 1st is National ID Your Pet Day. It is important to make sure pets are secured with proper identification. July 5th is renowned as the busiest day of the year for pet shelters due to runaways fearfully fleeing the firework sounds. With the 4th of July just around the corner it is a great time to make sure pets have updated ID tags on them at all times. A personalized ID tag attached to a fitted collar should include information like your name, home address, and/or phone number. An even more thorough security measure would be to get your pet implanted with a microchip. The microchip would serve beneficial if your pet were to lose or break their collar or ID tag. Taking these precautionary measures could be what makes the difference between your pet being returned home safely or lost permanently.