Heartworm disease is a dangerous parasitic blood infection found in pets all over the United States. Although more commonly seen in the southeast, heartworm disease is found anywhere mosquitos are and with mosquitos on the rise so is the risk to our pets! This week I thought we could play a little game to test your heartworm disease knowledge! Of the following three statements one is not true. Can you spot the lie?
- Heartworm disease is transmitted by mosquitos carrying blood from an infected animal (dog, cat or ferret) and injecting it into an uninfected animal. Heartworm larvae then travel through the bloodstream and grow inside your pet’s heart.
- Heartworm disease is only found in dogs that are outside a lot or live outside. Inside pets that only go outside a few times a day do not get heartworm disease and do not need prevention.
- There are safe and effective heartworm preventatives available to you at affordable prices that will protect your pet against numerous parasitic infestations including heartworm disease.
So did you guess correctly! Number 2 is the statement way out of place. It only takes one bite from an infected mosquito for your pet to get heartworm disease. Indoor and outdoor pets are all susceptible and should all receive prevention. Heartworm disease is a blood born parasite and our standard intestinal parasite deworming medications do not stop heartworm. There are numerous preventative options for cats and dogs and many that are safe and effective. Stay tuned next week for tips on prevention!