Heartworm Prevention and Treatment

Here at Bench Animal Hospital in Boise, ID, our veterinary team takes heartworm seriously. Spread by mosquitoes, this parasitic worm can infest unprotected cats and dogs and can be fatal. Unlike intestinal worms, earthworms lodge themselves in the heart, lungs, and blood vessels.

Heartworm is not contagious, but they don't go away on their own and treatment is extensive and costly. The best way to avoid these parasites is regular preventive medication. It may also be important that a pet takes this medication regardless of their lifestyle (indoor/outdoor) or location. Mosquitos are nearly found everywhere and, as most of us have experienced, can easily enter a home. Below we've provided more information on symptoms, treatment, and prevention of heartworm.

Heart Worm

Symptoms of Heartworm

Heartworm can be tricky to recognize in your pet because, often, there are few symptoms when he is first infested. It can also mimic other conditions, so the best way to ensure your pet is free of heartworm is for a vet to give it a blood test. However, some symptoms include coughing, sleepiness, difficulty breathing, and in advanced stages, a sickly appearance.

Prevention of Heartworm

Keeping your pet safe from heartworm is easy if you take him for annual wellness checks or, even better, provide him with preventative medication. At the wellness exam, the vet will first test to see if your pet has heartworm to ensure he is negative. Then, the vet will typically prescribe a monthly chewable or topical medication although there are other options available at your local pet store. Your vet will discuss the benefits of each to help you decide which is best for you and your pet.

Treatment of Heartworm

Should your pet become infected with heartworms, catching it early is key to his future health. They don't go away on their own, so a series of injections (done at the veterinary hospital) will be necessary to kill the worms and their larvae. The injections may cause side effects, causing your pet to feel unwell, so its better to prevent the whole situation in the first place.

Get Veterinarian Care from a Vet Near You at Our Veterinary Hospital

If you're in the Boise, ID, area and are looking for a vet near you, we at Bench Animal Hospital are here to help. Our animal clinic provides quality care and a range of services to help keep your furry friend safe and healthy. Call us at (208) 345-6771 for veterinarian care from a vet near you at our veterinary hospital.



Find us on the map

Office Hours

Our Regular Schedule

Bench Animal Hospital


7:30 am - 6:00 pm


7:30 am - 6:00 pm


7:30 am - 6:00 pm


7:30 am - 6:00 pm


7:30 am - 6:00 pm


9:00 am - 2:00 pm