April is Heartworm Awareness Month.
Heartworm is a very serious disease that can be fatal. Many animals can be infected including dogs and cats. It is caused by worms (heartworms) that can live in the animal’s heart and lungs. They are transmitted by the bites of infected mosquitoes.
Mosquitoes can travel long distances biting and infecting animals on their way. It only takes one bite from a mosquito to transmit heartworm infection. Mosquitoes can bite through your pet’s fur and thick skin. Keeping your pets indoors will also not protect them as many mosquitoes will make their way into your home as the doors open and close. Some of them may even be small enough to fit through your screens.
Female mosquitoes must feed on blood several times in order to lay eggs. Each one can lay several hundred eggs. Eliminate mosquito breeding grounds by emptying and washing outdoor water bowls daily, empty baby pools, buckets, and bird baths when not in use. Resolve any landscaping areas where water from sprinklers or rain can pool. Do not forget to clear out any sitting water in the house also including water from indoor plants.
Yearly heartworm testing is recommended and can be done in clinic with a simple blood test. Heartworm preventatives should be given Immediately after receiving negative results. There are many topical and oral preventatives that should be given once a month. Never skip a day and if you do, we recommend to retest. Though there are expenses associated with the testing and prevention, they really do out weight the costs associated with the treatment of a heartworm positive pet.
We want to help keep your pets happy and healthy. Testing is available daily with an appointment. We carry the best in heartworm preventatives in-house and on our online store. Heartworm testing is required to be done prior to beginning preventatives.