Is Heartworm Prevention Necessary For My Pet?

Heartworms are parasitic roundworms spread by mosquito bites. When the larvae enter an animal's body, they grow into adult worms that settle in the lungs and heart, leading to severe damage. Heartworm disease can cause breathing issues, blood clots, and heart problems, and it can be deadly if not treated.

Is Your Pet At Risk Due To Heartworm?

It's important to note that heartworms and heartworm disease are not transmitted through direct contact. They are exclusively spread by mosquitoes. This means that any dog or cat living in an area with mosquitoes is potentially at risk.

Mosquitoes can be active year-round in many regions, not just during the summer. They can also live indoors during winter, so keeping pets inside doesn't ensure they are safe from heartworm infection.

Although many believe cats are less susceptible to heartworm than dogs, they are still at risk. While heartworms are less likely to mature in cats, the consequences can be just as severe if they do.

Why Is Heartworm Prevention Important?

Heartworm disease in dogs  can be treated, but the treatment is lengthy, potentially risky, and expensive. Moreover, even after treatment, heartworms can still cause permanent organ damage. Fortunately, heartworms can be completely prevented with medication.

Prevention is especially crucial for cats since there is no treatment for adult heartworms in felines. The medication used for dogs is unsafe for cats, so the focus is on managing symptoms and maintaining the cat's health until the heartworms die, which can take 2-3 years.

How Heartworm Treatment Works?

Heartworm medication for your dog or cat is preventive; it does not treat existing heartworm disease. Before starting any heartworm medication, it's essential to test and, if necessary, treat your pet for adult heartworms. Administering a preventive to a heartworm-positive pet can be dangerous.

This medication doesn't prevent mosquito bites but eliminates heartworm larvae before they mature. Therefore, it's crucial to consistently give your pet their monthly heartworm preventive. Regular treatment ensures larvae are killed before they can become adult worms.

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