Heartworm Disease is a potentially life threatening condition caused by parasitic worms that can live in the heart and lungs of dogs and cats. It is important to prevent heartworm disease versus waiting for your pet to contract it as it can be difficult and costly to treat. The treatment requires a series of treatments over several months.
How do pets get heartworm disease?
Mosquitoes. When a mosquito bites an infected pet, it sucks blood containing microfilariae. (Microfilariae are the offspring of the adult heartworm). Once matured inside the mosquito, the offspring develop into infective larvae. This infective larvae are passed on when the mosquito bites another pet.
How to protect your pet?
Giving your pet a monthly preventative is key. Most heartworm preventatives also protect your pet from other intestinal parasites and fleas. Due to unpredictable seasons it is recommended to keep your pet on heartworm preventative year round.
A blood test is recommended to confirm that your pet is free of heartworm disease before prescribing heartworm preventative as many heartworm preventatives can cause illness if given with larvae in the bloodstream. Contact your pets veterinarian for their recommendations.
*For more specific information regarding heartworm disease and recommendations, go to https://www.heartwormsociety.org/pet-owner-resources