Time to think about heartworm prevention

With the weather warming up, it is important to think about heartworm disease and its effects on your friends.  Heartworm disease is transmitted by mosquitoes, and as you may have noticed as that buzzing around your ear keeps you up all night, even indoor-only animals are susceptible.  The mosquitoes inoculate animals with microfilaria (immature heartworms) that can eventually develop into adult worms in the arteries of the lungs and in the heart:

The disease is virtually 100% fatal if not treated, and the treatment itself can be life-threatening.  The good news is that heartworm prevention, a flavored tablet given once a month that most dogs see as treats, is very effective at preventing the disease if given consistently.

If it has been some time since your pet has had the preventative or if they have never received it, we recommend having a heartworm test done prior to beginning the preventative.  This is to prevent a potentially significant inflammatory reaction from death of existing heartworm larvae, and also to identify animals carrying the disease so that treatment can be instituted as quickly as possible, before congestive heart failure develops, complicating treatment.  It only takes a few drops of blood and a few minutes to test, a small price to pay for the longevity of your best friend!

Please call us anytime if you have any questions or would like to set up an appointment.