Heartworm risk high for pets in Texas - KTEN.com - Texoma news, weather and sports

Heartworm risk high for pets in Texas

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Dogs are susceptible to heartworm disease year-round. (KTEN) Dogs are susceptible to heartworm disease year-round. (KTEN)

DENISON, Texas -- Here's a health alert for Texas pet owners: The Lone Star State is ranked No. 4 in the country for heartworms, according to the American Heartworm Society.

The disease infects pets with foot-long worms that can lead to fatal consequences.

Veterinarians encourage pet owners to use a heartworm preventative throughout the year. They come in the form of a chewable, a topical applied to the skin, or an injection.

Denison veterinarian Dr. Chad Cruce discussed the most common symptoms.

"Usually you'll see coughing, shortness of breath, exercise intolerance, weight loss, vomiting," he said. "Usually it's related to the heart."

Mosquitoes carry heartworms, and while the illness is most common in the spring and summer, pets can be infected any time the insects are present.

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