Of course, we all know that in South Texas we are never really free of mosquitos! Some people even joke that the Mosquito is the Texas State Bird! But, with the rainy and warmer weather of spring and summer, mosquitos are out in-force!
I'm always surprised at how many people do not know that heartworms are transmitted to their pets by mosquitos. One bite from an infected mosquito and your dog (cats can get them, too!) has been introduced to the beginnings of heartworm infestation. Did you know that the worms can grow to be over a foot long? These are actual WORMS that are parasitically thriving in your pet's heart and lungs, and literally choking your pet to death. Death from heartworms is a slow, painful process. A horrible way to die - but, so easily prevented!
The very best thing to do is to prevent the heartworms from ever entering your pet's body. A once-a-month table or chewable, prescribed by your vet, can keep your dog free of heartworms and your pocketbook intact! The treatment to kill these worms is expensive and is hard on your pet's system. But, the alternative is horrible. The old saying, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure," is sooo true in this instance.
If your pet already has the condition, please know that the treatment does not keep the dog safe for the rest of its life! Treating your pet for heartworms only rids them of the current infestation. You must give the prevention as directed afterward to keep your dog from getting heartworms again! And, please note the part about, as directed! Don't miss or be late with a single dose. Mark your calendar or do whatever you need to in order to give the prevention on time, every time! Any lapse puts your pet at risk!
I often hear people say, "Oh, well, I keep my dog inside, so I don't need that prevention tablet." That is simply not true! Who among us have not tried to swat down that pesky mosquito who buzzes around us while we try to sleep. Mosquitos come indoors, too!! Remember, it only takes one bite from an infected mosquito and your pet has been introduced to the beginning of heartworms! The more times the pet is bitten the more heartworms it will have.
Below is a link that offers a well-written explanation of what heartworms are, how they affect your pet, how to prevent them, treatment of an infected dog or cat, etc. Please educate yourself and then share the link with others who may not know about this debilitating and deadly condition in pets. Don't put your animal through that!! Be responsible and prevent heartworms in your Pet!
Heartworm: The Parasite - VeterinaryPartner.com - a VIN company!