Canine Heartworms: Easily Preventable, Difficult to Treat
Canine Heartworm Disease
The summer months are upon us, and unfortunately, that means an increase in mosquito activity. While mosquitoes can be a nuisance to people, they can, in effect, bedeadly for dogs. Mosquitoes transmit life threatening heartworm larvae into your dogs (and cats, see post on feline heartworms) bloodstream. These larvae, called microfilaria, travel through the bloodstream until they reach the heart where they mature and breed. Once living inside the heart, these worms can grow up to 14 inches! Heartworm disease takes its toll on the body. It can cause irreparable damage not only to your pet’s heart, but also other organs such as the lungs and kidneys. Pets affected by heartworm disease suffer, badly.
Heart of adult dog who died of heartworm disease.
The good news is that heartworm disease is easily preventable. There are many heartworm preventatives available by prescription. These preventatives can be administered in an oral pill form, topical form, or even an injectable form. We at VMS would be glad to assist you in choosing the right heartworm prevention for you and your pet. Here in South Carolina, it is recommended that pets stay on heartworm prevention year-round since we frequently have warmer days in the winter and when it’s warm, mosquitoes search for a meal.
Please feel free to call us for more information on the kinds of heartworm prevention available. We can help you choose the product that is most effective and convenient for you and your dog.