National Heartworm Awareness Month Is In April
National Heartworm Awareness Month arrives in April.
Heartworm disease affects both dogs and cats (and other mammals) in all areas of the country. The heartworm parasite is spread by mosquitoes when they feed on infected animals and transmit the disease through bites. According to the American Heartworm Society (AHS), the actual heartworms grow up to a foot in length and “live in the heart, lungs and associated blood vessels of affected pets, causing severe lung disease, heart failure and damage to other organs in the body.”
No matter if your pet lives in the northernmost reaches of the United States, he or she is still at risk for contracting heartworm disease without proper prevention. The good news is that prevention is very effective. Your local veterinarian will first test your pet for heartworm and then recommend a prevention or treatment plan. In fact, it’s recommended that you test your pet for heartworm annually.
Once it is confirmed your pet does not have heartworm, your vet will help you choose a preventative. These are usually administered monthly as a chew or injection. Some brands provide rebates if one purchases a year’s supply of these medications. Their cost, though is far, far less than having to treat your pet for heartworm disease.
Heartworm disease is treatable in dogs, most easily when caught early. It’s preventable for cats, although the AHS explains how “there is no approved treatment” yet. Heartworm awareness does make a difference, as prevention helps.
The American Heartworm Society works year-round to educate pet owners and vets about heartworm disease. They offer many helpful articles, infographics and Q & A resources about the disease here. If you have any questions about heartworm, heartworm medication, or treatment, consult your vet right away.
Looking for someone to help care for your dog, cat or small animal on your next trip? Give In Home Pet Sitters a call at 1-321-794-4477 or send us a message. We also provide pet taxi services.