Heartworm Prevention and Treatment

Medford pet owners are generally very protective of their pets. Thus it always comes as a surprise when pets at Veterinary Outpatient Treatment Center are diagnosed with Heartworm infection. Heartworm is a parasitic worm that is usually extremely hard to detect. This is because the symptoms of infections do not always manifest until later. 


Most of the time, when detected, it is usually a life-threatening situation. Heartworm Disease is a serious infection caused by Dirofilaria immitis. The worm is usually spread from the but of an infected mosquito. 

Once in the bloodstream, Dirofilaria immitis moves through circulation, especially in the lungs and lymphatic system. The worm also matures as it traverses the body and eventually reproduces, leading to serious infection. So how can you keep your pet safe from this dangerous disease:

Prevention of Heartworm Disease

1. Take Your Pet for Regular Checkups 

The key to preventing the development of Heartworm Disease in Medford is through early diagnosis. The early stage of infection is usually asymptomatic in most pets. It is only through routine checkups that a veterinary doctor can diagnose Heartworm Disease early enough to prevent illness. Regular checkups also serve as points for the administration of vaccines.

2. Use Preventative Medication 

Four main drugs are effective in the prevention of Heartworm Disease. These are Ivermectin, Milbemycin, Selamenctin, and Moxidectin Oxime. 

Selamectin is an antibiotic drug used to prevent numerous parasitic worms such as Heartworm, roundworm, and hookworm. Moxidectin and Ivermectin are primarily used in the prevention of Heartworm

3. Use of Mosquito Repellents 

Mosquito repellents can be applied on your dog’s fur to keep mosquitoes at bay. However, this is a mild prevention method; thus must be supplemented with other medication.

Treatment of Heartworm Disease

Medford is a relatively warm area where a lot of mosquitoes breed. Thus sometimes, prevention methods may fail at some point leading to disease. Here are some methods used in treating Heartworm Disease:

1. Administration of Drugs 

The choice of treatment depends on the stage of the parasite being targeted. Adult Heartworms are targeted using Melarsominel, a drug administered via injection. Pets who have advanced infection require additional medication to kill the microfilaria

2. Surgery 

Most dogs usually have advanced disease by the time they are being diagnosed. At this stage, the worms are too many to be killed using medication. Thus, the veterinarian will physically extract them during heartworm treatment surgery, then use medication to treat the remaining worms. 

Get the Best Veterinarian to Keep Your Pet Safe In San Jose

Veterinary Outpatient Treatment Center, located in Medford, is a well-equipped facility dedicated to keeping pets healthy. We have well-planned vaccination and prevention programs that keep most diseases at bay. Contact us to make an appointment today.


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Office Hours

Our front office does not close down for lunch.

San Jose Office


9:00 am-6:00 pm


9:00 am-6:00 pm


9:00 am-6:00 pm


9:00 am-6:00 pm


9:00 am-6:00 pm


9:00 am-5:00 pm