Heartworms are a parasite that are transmitted via mosquito bite and are known to infect dogs in all 50 states. When heartworm larvae transfer from a mosquito to a dog, they infect the heart tissue and mature into adults. Eventually, these adults will cause severe lung problems, heart failure, and other forms of organ damage. While veterinarians can treat heartworm disease, the process has mixed success and is a costly endeavor. Pet owners are encouraged to provide their dogs with medication all year long to reduce the risk of this life-threatening disease. To protect your pooch, here are three other reasons to invest in heartworm prevention.
What Are the Benefits of Heartworm Prevention Medication for Dogs?
1. Protection Despite No Warning Signs
As the disease progresses, organ failure will cause severe health problems in an infected canine. However, in the early stages — when heartworms are growing and reproducing — there are no signs of a problem. For this reason, it’s difficult for pet owners to tell if their dog needs life-saving treatment.
Since there are no early warning signs, preventive medications are essential to keep the problem from occurring. While this medication is highly effective, pet owners should have a veterinarian test their dog for heartworm at least once a year.
2. Slow the Spread of Heartworm
When a heartworm-infected mosquito bites a dog, the larval parasite will enter the animal’s bloodstream and travel to the heart where it can grow to adulthood. When the adult parasites reproduce, the larva can be transferred back to a mosquito whenever the dog is bitten by the insect.
As a result, an infected dog makes it easier for this parasite to spread to other animals. With heartworm incidence rates increasing steadily since 2010, the use of preventive medication is critical to slowing the spread of the parasite — protecting all dogs.
3. Provides Year-Round Protection
Many pet owners will think that heartworm prevention is only necessary when mosquitoes are active — such as during the summer. However, the FDA recommends using this medication throughout the year, even if mosquito activity is low. While there may be a lower risk of your dog getting a mosquito bite during the cooler seasons, there’s still a chance of infection.
Providing comprehensive veterinarian services in Loveland, OH, Wards Corner Animal Hospital is a trusted resource for all your heartworm prevention needs. With a personalized approach, our vet clinic will introduce you to the best medications for your dog and provide clear instructions on how to deliver the treatment. In addition to heartworm prevention, we also offer many other services to help your dog lead a long and healthy life — including annual check-ups, flea treatments, pet dentistry, and vaccinations. Browse our website to learn more about our services or call (513) 683-2883 to schedule a convenient appointment.