Heartworm Disease

Heartworms are parasites that inhabit the heart and lungs of infected dogs.  It is an entirely preventable disease that has been identified in all 50 states year round.  A dog becomes infected by being bitten by an infected mosquito.

Common myths:

“My dog won’t get infected because it only goes outside to use the bathroom.”

“My dog has such thick hair that a mosquito can’t bite through it.”

“My dog doesn’t need prevention because I’ve never heard of any dogs getting heartworm disease.”

Truth:

A dog doesn’t even have to leave the house to get heartworm disease.  Studies have been shown that the house mosquito (lives in your house 12 months per year) carry heartworm disease.

Most dogs take potty breaks at the time when mosquito activity is the highest (dusk and dawn).

Mosquitoes can get through a dog’s hair coat and they live in the grass, the perfect opportunity tor them to get a meal from your dog’s belly.

Heartworm preventions are very effective against heartworm disease when used properly.  It is recommended by the American Society for the prevention of Heartworm Disease and also our hospital that dogs be tested annually for heartworm disease as well as be on prevention year-round.

More Facts:

Heartworm prevention is a prescription medication available only at the hospital or with a prescription.

If your dog contracts heartworm disease after he/she receives year round heartworm prevention, most drug companies will pay for the treatment.

If your medication was not purchased through a veterinary office, drug companies do not guarantee the drugs.

The average cost for treating a 50 lb. dog with heartworm disease in 2008 was $800.00.

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