Heartworm disease is a common condition in many regions of the world. It also is a very preventable disease which has caused it to be a less common diagnosis in pets that receive regular veterinary care.. In our area heartworm disease is becoming more prevalent. Due to our climate, dogs and cats are at risk year round.
Transmission of heartworm disease occurs when a mosquito bites an infected dog and ingests heartworm larvae, which live in the bloodstream. When the insect bites another dog or cat, some of the larvae are injected under the skin. The larvae grow for 3 to 4 months and eventually make their way into the heart where they develop into adults, and the process is ready to repeat itself. Left untreated heartworm disease can be fatal.
Prevention should be used on all dogs and cats. There are many different types of heartworm prevention including both tablets and topicals. These are given to the pet once a month, year round, for the life of the pet. Prevention is much less expensive and easier to provide than treatment. Even with treatment, some permanent damage is possible. Contact us to make an appointment for your pet.
For more information, please visit the American Heartworm Society at http://www.heartwormsociety.org/pet-owner-resources/heartworm.html.