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Heartworm Awareness Month

Heartworm Awareness Month

               Everyone who has had pets is aware of heartworm disease. How much do you really know about it? Here are some facts about these parasites.

Fact 1

               Over 1 million pets have heartworm disease in the United States. Heartworm Disease has been diagnosed in all 50 states. These infected pets and wildlife are a reservoir of heartworms that Mosquitos can pick up and transfer to your pet.  That means that heartworm prevention is important everywhere!

Fact 2

               Natural remedies are not effective at preventing heartworm disease. They can reduce the risks but it is impossible to prevent 100% of mosquitos in any area. That includes indoors, 1 in 4 cats that tested positive for heartworm disease are indoor only.  All approved heartworm preventatives are extensively tested for effectiveness and safety, so they will continue to be the best way to prevent heartworm disease.

Fact 3

               Some dogs and cats may not eat the pill, vomit it up or rub off their topical medications which will reduce their effectiveness. Simply being a few days late on giving them their medications can greatly reduce its effectiveness. So, yearly testing is important even if you are giving it monthly. If your dog is positive for heartworm, prompt treatment can reduce the severity of damage to the lungs and heart.

Fact 4

               Heartworm prevention comes in a variety of forms. You can use chewable tablets, chewable medicated treats, topical medications and there is an injectable form that lasts for 6 months or for 12 months. By working with your veterinarian, you can ensure that the type that you choose is appropriate for you and your pet's needs.

Fact 5

               There is treatment available for dogs but there is not an approved treatment for cats. This means that your cat needs heartworm prevention as much as your dog. Preventing heartworm disease is much less expensive and easier on you and your pet!!

If you want more information on heartworm prevention or have additional questions, please contact our office!

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