Heartworm disease is a life threatening parasitic disease caused by a long, thin worm that lives in the blood vessels and heart of infected cats and dogs. The disease is spread by mosquitoes that bite a dog or cat with the Heartworm infection and then passes it on to another dog or cat. The microscopic worms in the infected dog or cat will grow into a parasite exceeding a foot in length. The disease impacts the lungs, arteries of the lungs, and the heart. Symptoms include tiring, coughing, weight loss, and heart failure.
The disease is present in most parts of the United States, especially in locations that have subtropical climates like those of the southeast, Gulf states, and Hawaii where mosquitoes are common. Heartworm disease can be diagnosed through a blood test and treated with a once-monthly prescription tablet. Preventative medicines are available only through your veterinarian, and it is recommended by the American Heartworm Society (AHS) to take a year-round preventative in Heartworm endemic states.
It is estimated that a million dogs in the U.S. have Heartworm disease today.
- It only takes one bite from an infected mosquito to spread Heartworm disease to a pet.
- Heartworms can live up to 5-7 years if left untreated in dogs and 2-3 years in cats.
- Heartworm season is year-round. Protect your pet with a monthly preventative.
- Dogs and cats should be tested for Heartworm every 12 months.
- Heartworm prevention is much less expensive than treatment. Treatment can cost more than 15x that of a year’s worth of Heartworm preventative.
Source - Pet Place and American Heartworm Society
Make an appointment today with your veterinarian to protect your dog or cat from Heartworm disease.