A mosquito bites an infected dog or cat and ingests heartworm larvae, the larvae then develop in the mosquito. The mosquito then bites a dog or cat, and injects the larvae into the animal, which develops further and travels to the heart, where it lives and grows and breeds. Heartworm disease can cause respiratory issues, heart disease, pulmonary embolisms, exercise intolerance and even death.
This disease can be avoided with a once monthly preventative. For dogs and cats, there is a once a month chewable, tablet or topical that can be given. It needs to be given year round to prevent heartworm disease. Dogs also need to be tested for heartworm disease once a year, which can be done at your veterinarian’s office. Cat and dog heartworm preventatives are only available through your veterinarian.
Heartworm disease is a deadly disease that is easily prevented. Treatment is expensive, lengthy and it is much easier to prevent this disease with a once a month preventative, than to treat once affected. Please talk with your veterinarian about making sure your dog or cat is on heartworm prevention.
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Veterinary Technical Services Department