Heartworm disease is spread by many different species of mosquitos. The life cycle of the heartworm begins when a mosquito bites and feeds on the blood of an infected dog that is carrying tiny immature heartworms (microfilaria) in its blood. The microfilaria develops into larvae within the mosquito during the next two to three weeks. The disease is then spread by the mosquito injecting the larvae into the skin of a healthy animal through a bite. As the larvae mature into young adults, they enter the veins and migrate to the heart where they mature into adults.
Heartworm disease can be fatal if not detected early and treated. Treatment of heartworm disease includes hospitalization, activity restrictions, and can be very costly. It is important to have your pet tested annually to allow for early detection. Heartworm disease is prevalent all over the United States.
The good news is heartworm disease can be prevented! Prevention types include:
• A monthly chewable that is given each month on the same day, year round.
• A monthly topical that is applied each month on the same day, year round.
• An injection that lasts either 6 or 12 months.
Let us know if you have any questions about Heartworm and the various preventative options. We would be happy to help!