Did you know that April is Heartworm Awareness Month? Now is a great time to brush up on your knowledge and make sure you’re taking the appropriate steps to protect your dog or cat.
According to the American Heartworm Society, heartworms are spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. Heartworms are parasites that live in the heart, lungs, and blood vessels of affected pets; heartworm disease can cause severe damage to pets’ organs. Though rates of infection vary from year to year, heartworm disease has been reported in all 50 states, and both indoor and outdoor pets are at risk. Remember that prevention and early treatment are best!
What can you do?
The AHS recommends that you “Think 12”:
1) Get your pet tested every 12 months for heartworm.
2) Give your pet heartworm preventative 12 months a year.
Be sure to administer the heartworm preventative strictly on schedule, according to the preventative type; failure to do so may allow immature larvae to molt into the adult stage. According to WebMD: Pet Health, if your dog gets heartworms and is treated for them, he can still get them again, so prevention is important.
To learn more about heartworm prevention and treatment, visit the American Heartworm Society and PetMD.