Why Heartworm Preventatives Are Crucial?


Your vet may have recommended starting your dog or cat on a regular heartworm preventative. As a pet owner, you want to protect your animal from serious diseases. But do you know the importance of heartworm prevention?

Just One Bite Is All It Takes

Heartworm is transmitted solely through the bite of an infected mosquito. This means that any place with mosquitoes poses a risk to your dog or cat. It's important to note that while avoiding heavily infested areas and using insect repellents can help lower the risk, complete protection isn't possible. One bite from a mosquito carrying heartworm can deliver enough larvae to cause heartworm disease.

Treating Dogs Can Be Risky

If a dog develops heartworm disease, vets can use treatments, but they come with risks and costs. The treatment consists of multiple injections aimed at eliminating the adult heartworms. The worms' fragments can block the dog's blood vessels as they die and break down. After each injection, the dog must be confined, as any physical activity can raise the risk of these blockages.

No Heartworm Treatment Exists For Cats

Unfortunately, the treatments available for eliminating heartworm in dogs are unsuitable for cats, making prevention crucial. Cats aren't natural hosts for heartworms, but if they become infected, it can cause severe illness or even sudden death. The positive side is that many cats can recover with proper care to manage symptoms.

How Do Heartworm Preventatives Function?

The term "preventative" might be misleading because heartworm medications don't stop your dog or cat from being bitten by heartworm-carrying mosquitoes. However, these medications kill the microscopic heartworm larvae, or microfilariae, before they mature into adult worms.

Heartworm medications eliminate microfilariae that may have entered your pet's bloodstream in the past 30 days. These medications don't have long-lasting effects and cannot prevent future infections, so following a regular dosing schedule is crucial. Preventatives are typically administered monthly oral or topical doses and often include ingredients to protect against other parasites. For instance, Heartgard Plus treats additional worms, while Advantage Multi or Revolution protects against fleas, mites, and intestinal worms.


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Best Selling Combo

Heartgard Nexgard Combo for Dogs Flea, Ticks & Heartworm Treatment