Heartworm Prevention

By April 24, 2023 No Comments

April is the month of spring showers, soon to be followed by bright fresh flowers, but for veterinarians and other animal welfare advocates, it means something very different and important. That’s because April is Heartworm Awareness Month, when vets work hard to teach pet owners about the hazards of this dangerous disease, and more importantly, about how to prevent it. Most pet owners have heard about heartworm in dogs, but many don’t know it can also affect cats and other animals, and even humans. The worms that give the disease its name can also invade the lungs, arteries, and blood vessels, and if not discovered and treated early, they can cause serious damage to your pet’s internal organs. April was named Heartworm Awareness Month because in many regions that’s when the mosquitos that primarily carry the disease first begin to become active. The Desert View Animal Hospital in Rock Springs, WY, wants you to know that to fully protect your pet from this deadly disease, year-round heartworm prevention is crucial.

Why Year-Round Heartworm Prevention Is Essential

Although the mosquitos that carry the heartworm larvae are mostly active in the summer, they are capable of living inside your house long after the weather has turned cold, where they can remain an infection risk to your pet well after mosquito season ends, when most pet owners stop giving them their heartworm prevention medication. Your pet can also become infected if you take them on a trip to a warmer locale where the mosquitos are still active. Another thing to consider is that if your pet is infected late in the season, and then you stop giving them preventive medication during the winter, the larvae have several months to mature before spring. Then, since most medications aren’t effective against adult heartworms, resumed treatments won’t help. That’s why year-round prevention is important for full protection.

Protection From Other Parasites

Most medications for heartworm prevention also contain additives that control other parasites like hookworms and roundworms. Since these parasites live in the ground all year long, you’re also protecting your pet from these pests with all-season prevention.

Heartworm Treatment

Heartworm can be treated after the larvae have matured, but it’s a long and tedious process, requiring up to six months of treatment. It’s much easier to avoid it with year-round prevention. It’s a great investment in your pet’s health.

To learn more about heartworm prevention, contact the Desert View Animal Hospital in Rock Spring, WY.

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