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Does Your Dog Need Heartworm Prevention?

January 29, 2019

Did you know?

In 2018 West Greenwich Animal Hospital treated 7 dogs for Heartworm Disease!

Heartworm disease is a real issue that we would like our clients to know about. Due to the shift in our climate, our winters are sometimes mild. Warmer temperatures can cause mosquitoes to defrost and come out of hiding. Regardless if your dog is a couch potato or your running partner, we highly recommend that you give your dog heartworm prevention once each month, every month, all year long . Given the fact that heartworm disease is transmitted by mosquitoes, if your dog is not on prevention, they will be at risk of infection.

Heartworms are long, white, worms which live in the heart and lungs of an infected dog. The worms will make it harder for the heart to pump blood by clogging the vessels around the heart. Without treatment, heartworm disease will eventually cause heart failure and death.

The average mosquito travels the same 1-3 miles throughout it’s lifetime. That means, if there is a heartworm positive coyote or dog in your neighborhood, a local mosquito can take a blood meal from them and once the microfilaria develops into the infective larvae stage, it can transmit to your healthy pet with just one bite!

But you need not fear because Heartworm Disease is nearly 100% preventable. If Heartworm prevention is given once per month, every month of the year, it will kill any larvae that are circulating in the bloodstream before it has a chance to develop into a mature heartworm inside your dog.

Once a dog has been infected with heartworm disease, preventive medicine will not work to treat the disease and can even be harmful. For this reason, we urge our clients to test their dog for heartworm disease annually. We also recommend retesting before starting the dog on heartworm preventive if any time has lapsed in between doses.

As always, West Greenwich Animal Hospital sends you and your pet well wishes and a remarkable 2019. Remember to give your dog heartworm prevention year-round. It is as simple as giving your dog 1 treat once a month.

If you have any questions or should need us for anything, please call our office at 401-397-8887.

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