It takes one bite from an infected mosquito to break your pet's heart! One infected mosquito is all it takes to infect your dog with the baby form (larval stage) of the heartworm parasite.
Heartworms are a serious and potentially fatal disease in pets. Twelve-inch-long worms (look like spaghetti) live in the heart, lungs and blood vessels of infected pets, causing lung disease, heart failure, organ damage and can be fatal if untreated.
How does my pet get heartworms?
Heartworms living in an infected dog, cat or wildlife produce baby worms that circulate in the bloodstream. When a mosquito bites an infected animal, it picks up these worms and when it bites another animal, the worms enter through the bite wound. Heartworms can grow and live for 5 - 7 years in dogs and 3 years in cats.
How prevalent is heartworm disease?
Heartworm disease is a year-round problem. In our area, 1 in 10 dogs tested positive for heartworms.
What can I do to protect my pet?
Heartworm disease is preventable! Dogs should be tested annually and before starting prevention. Provide heartworm prevention 12 months of the year. Prevention is the safest and most cost-effective option, but treatment is available for dogs (although costly and lengthy). Cats should be tested before starting prevention and re-tested as the veterinarian deems appropriate. There is NO treatment in cats, so prevention is critical and the only means of protection.
Goodwin Animal Hospital has safe, effective products available that cater to you and your pet's lifestyle and budget. Heartworm prevention should be provided 12 months of the year - we have an option for an injection every six months to help you with not having to remember to administer monthly.