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What is Heartworm Disease?
Heartworm disease develops when a dog is bitten by a mosquito carrying microscopic heartworm larva (juvenile worms) of a parasite called Dirofilaria immmitis. As the mosquito feeds, these microscopic larvae are deposited on the dog and quickly penetrate the skin to begin their migration into the dog’s blood stream. Adult heartworms can grow 10 to 12 inches in length and make their home in the right side of the heart and pulmonary (lung) arteries, often causing lung disease and heart failure.
Prevention is ALWAYS more safe and affordable than treating dogs with adult heartworm infections.


How safe is my pet’s procedure?
Each individual procedure will vary from pet to pet and condition to condition. As with humans, the older the individual the more precaution needs to bee taken. Typically a physical examination, review of the patients' medical history and blood work are recommended with older patients. These precautions will make a procedure as safe as possible with a senior pet.


How often should my pet have an exam and blood work?
Remember that an average ratio between our furry friends and humans is approximately 7 years, and our feathered and scaly friends lifespans are so varied that studies are ongoing. This means that if your pet has not been to the veterinarian in the past year, it is the equivalent of a human not having a check up in seven years or longer. The more frequent the examinations, the blood work, the fecal exams, the dental examination, etc the longer we as a team can help extend your pets life. These simple practices alone can extend your pets life by as long was 25% according to recent studies.


Does my pet truly need a dental procedure?
The overwhelming answer is absolutely yes! Tartar is loaded with bacteria that gets into the blood stream transmitting harmful bacteria to your pet's internal organs. This bacterial can limit the lifespan of your pet.


How important is nutrition for my pet?
Similar to human food intake, a diet appropriate for the age of your pet high in quality protein and fiber, low in fat is essential to the health of your pet. We offer Purina, Hill's, and other brands as wellness and prescription lines. Less allergenic and hypoallergenic diets are available. Since we treat more species than the average veterinary hospital our expertise can aid in the longevity of even your strangest of creatures. What we might not know, we pledge to know for the sake our patients and your non-human extended family.


How long should I wait to bring my pet to the veterinarian if I notice a change in their behavior?
It is always important to call Saucier Veterinary Hospital immediately for an appointment when your pet exhibits a change of behavior or sudden weight gain or loss.


What if I begin to notice visible parasites for the first time on my pet?
The flea and tick preventatives have improved greatly in recent years. These preventatives are safe and effective in a wide variety of forms. At Saucier Veterinary Hospital, we fit the preventative product to the pet's problem and environment. Parasite control is of great importance to eliminate disease carrying parasites in you and your pets.