Summer is upon us and unfortunately the mosquitoes are back! Did you know those pests can transmit heartworm disease?
Once your dog is bitten by an infected mosquito it will take 6-7 months for the heartworm to reach adult stage, they can grow up to 12 inches and live for 5-7 years into your dog’s heart.
What about cats??? Can they get heartworms? The answer is yes but it is less common than in dogs. Cats do not typically spread the disease as they are not a natural host for heartworms. However, if a cat does get infected the disease is often more severe than in the dog.
Heartworm disease in dogs can also be fatal if not treated as it causes heart, lungs, liver and kidneys damage . Most animals with heartworm disease don’t show any signs until the disease is more advanced.
At that point, they can have coughing, exercise intolerance, fainting or sudden death.
Once your pet is showing signs of the disease, there is already a lot of damage done and some of it will be permanent. In some of those cases your companion may die even with treatments.
The great news is that heartworm prevention is an effective way to prevent heartworms and other intestinal worms that your pet could contract.
Prevention is key – speak to your veterinarian about testing your pet for heartworm disease and have him started on monthly prevention medications.