What the heck are heartworms? Well, they are just what they sound like. They are nasty worms that live in the heart (and lungs and blood vessels) of dogs and cats. Obviously they are not a good thing. Fortunately, protecting your pets from heartworms is relatively easy.
Heartworms are transmitted from pet to pet via the mosquito. When an infected mosquito bites your pet, it injects heartworm larvae into the animal’s bloodstream. These larvae mature into adult heartworms, which cause damage to the heart and lungs over several years.
Many safe, effective preventative products now exist that are able to kill the heartworm larvae before they ever become adult heartworms. These products are available in oral or topical forms, with a perfect product being available for almost any pet. Many heartworm preventatives also contain convenient medications for other parasitic diseases such as intestinal worms or fleas. Most preventatives must be given monthly and many times your veterinarian will require a negative blood test yearly to ensure that the medications may be safely given.
Heartworm disease is a devastating illness, but with a little planning you can ensure your pet is protected. Contact us and we can talk about preventing heartworms in your best friend.