April is Heartworm Awareness Month and we want to help you understand heartworms and how to protect your pet. Heartworms effect both cats and dogs but cannot be treated in cats. Year round protection with an approved heartworm preventive is recommended to protect your pet. It only takes one (1) infected mosquito to bite your pet and they could develop the disease. Missing doses or giving them too far apart, increases your pets risk of contracting heartworms. Many pet owners think that since their pet is indoors they do not need to be on prevention but this is false. Mosquitoes can get in your home, porch or your car. Also, most heartworm preventives protect your pet from other parasites like roundworms, hookworms and fleas. The cost of heartworm prevention is minor compared to the amount of damage it could do to your pet and the expense of heartworm treatment. In addition, we recommend annual heartworm testing. While highly effective, heartworm preventives are not 100% and dogs can spit up their pill or rub off their topical medication. With annual testing, we can detect if your pet has been infected and begin treatment in a timely manner, hopefully reducing the damage the disease causes and resulting in a more successful recovery.
To learn more, visit the American Heartworm Society website.