All About Heartworm Disease

All About Heartworm Disease

Let’s talk about heartworms. For those who don’t know, it only takes one bite from an infected mosquito for an animal to contract heartworms. Isn’t that crazy? I don’t know about everyone else, but I am a mosquito magnet and can come in with 10-15 bites after just walking out to get the mail! Not to mention, the ones I see shoot through the doorway when I open it. Even with my most valiant efforts and cat/ninja like reflexes, those little buggers (haha, get it?) do get in the house from time to time. This is why, even if your dogs are mainly indoors and just go outside to use the bathroom, they are still at risk for contracting heartworms.

Did you know that there are over 65 types of mosquitoes that spread heartworms? North Carolina alone has had 500+ reported cases of heartworm positive dogs per clinic over just the past few years, and trust me, treating it is a lot more expensive that preventing it. Unfortunately for us here in the south, we have some pretty mild winters, too, and the mosquitoes can hang around all year long. This is why year round preventative and annual heartworm testing is so crucial, even if you use monthly preventatives. Because hey, we’re all human and even I sometimes forget to give my fur kids their pill for a month or two. It can take months for a dog or cat to start showing symptoms of the disease, and left untreated, it can cause severe lung disease, heart failure, other extensive organ damage and eventually lead to death. LUCKILY we have drugs to treat heartworms in dogs, unfortunately nothing proven to treat cats. Good news for the cats though, we do have heartworm preventative for them as well!

As if the preventatives aren’t great enough as it is, most of them also protect our fur babies from intestinal parasites, and some, like Sentinel and Trifexis, even have a little bit of flea medicine in them as well! We’ll talk about those nasty intestinal parasites at another time, though. If your critters aren’t up to date on their heartworm test or haven’t been on prevention for a while, make sure to get those little furry cabooses in here ASAP! We carry all different types of preventatives for dogs such as Sentinel (the best in my opinion!), Interceptor and HeartGuard. For cats we have Revolution and HeartGard.  Heartworm testing is quick here, too. Just schedule a tech appointment and we’ll have you out of here with results in 15 minutes. It’s that easy!

I hope everyone will enjoy the startup of our blogs, and there is definitely more to come! Even as I was writing this short one, I learned so much just doing a few minutes of research, and there’s tons of more information out there if you’re interested. Stop back by our website later to check out updated and new blogs! Thanks for checking us out 🙂

– Olivia, Animal Ark Vet Tech

Check out this website for more information:

https://www.heartwormsociety.org/pet-owner-resources/heartworm-basics