One of the most preventable killer diseases in Texas is heartworms.

Heartworms are worms that live in the heart and cause heart failure, liver failure and kidney disease. They are transmitted by mosquitoes, which is a 24/7 year round problem for those of us in the Dallas and north Texas areas.

The good news is we have medications, heartworm preventives, that help prevent this nasty disease from ever affecting your pet. We have medication for both dogs, cats, and ferrets, all of whom can be  affected by heartworm disease.

In accordance with guidelines published by the prestigious American Heartworm Society, we at Chastain Veterinary Medical Group require annual testing of all dogs for heartworm disease. We do this for the safety of your pet, because if they have contracted heartworm disease and are given heartworm preventive, they can potentially experience a serious reaction. These reactions can potentially be fatal. So, we test first.

Included in the heartworm test that we run, are tests for common tick-borne diseases in our area. This gives us an opportunity to diagnose and treat these potentially dangerous diseases before symptoms even occur.

In summary, all dogs, cats and ferrets should be on monthly heartworm preventive. All dogs should receive an annual heartworm and tick borne disease test.