Even though preventing heartworm disease is safe, simple, and cost effective, there are still more than one million pets in the United States diagnosed with heartworm disease.
For a veterinarian, it is puzzling that every year so many pets—both dogs and cats—are diagnosed with heartworm disease when it is so simple to prevent. “It must be a lack of understanding of how easy it is to prevent this potentially deadly disease,” said Dr. Dan Whitney.
What is heartworm disease?
Heartworm disease is a potentially deadly condition caused by parasitic worms living in a dog’s or cat’s heart and pulmonary arteries. It’s spread by mosquitoes. All it takes is one bite from an infected mosquito for your pet to contract the disease. Even pets living indoors are at some risk, explains Dr. Dan.
Easy to start protection
A simple blood test is done before starting your pet on prevention to ensure your pet does not have heartworm disease. If your pet would have heartworm, it is important to start treatment in the early stages. Once the test confirms your pet does not have the disease, pet owners begin the preventive treatment.
Not only does monthly heartworm prevention protect against heartworm, but some products also protect your pet from intestinal parasites such as roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms, and whipworms. A few products even help prevent fleas. Pet owners can purchase heartworm prevention monthly, six-month or full-year supply. There are many money-saving coupons and rebates available for heartworm preventive products.
Variety of products
There are many products for pet owners to choose from. There is everything from topical to oral chews offering a variety of protection options. Our staff can help you select the product that best fits you and your pet’s needs. “However, we still do not have a single product to do it all,” explains Dr. Dan. Our team will recommend the product that will work best for you and your pet, depending on lifestyle.
5 Facts About Heartworm Disease
1. More than a million pets in the U.S. have heartworm disease.
· Some clinics reported more than 100 cases in a year.
2. Heartworm disease has been diagnosed in all 50 states.
· Heartworm disease is generally associated with regions that experience hot, humid weather with high counts of mosquitoes. However, heartworm disease is widespread even in states it was considered rare, thanks to dog mobility and the variety of mosquitoes that carry the disease.
3. Both dogs and cats get heartworm disease.
· Although Heartworm disease is slightly different in cats and dogs, it can be fatal for both. Even pets who live indoors can get heartworm disease.
4. Heartworm disease can be fatal.
· Heartworm disease affects the heart, lungs, and pulmonary blood vessels and can be fatal for our beloved pets. Infected dogs can be successfully treated, the earlier the diagnoses, the better. However, there are no approved treatments for cats.
5. Prevention is safe, effective and cost-effective.
· The American Heartworm Society recommends year-round prevention for dogs and cats in the U.S., even in areas that experience cold winters.
Facts provided by the American Heartworm Society. The 2013 American Heartworm Society Heartworm data is based on a survey of heartworm testing results from more than 4,500 veterinary clinics and shelters across the U.S.