Heartworms Can Kill Your Pets

October 31, 2013

Both dogs and cats are susceptible to heartworm infection.  Infection occurs through a bite from a mosquito carrying the heartworm larvae.  The larvae enter the animal through the bite wound and begin to develop in the surrounding tissue, eventually moving to the arteries and lungs.  Without proper treatment, death of the animal follows.

Heartworms can be avoided if the animal is kept on preventive medication year-round.  In areas of the world where hard freezes occur in winter, there may be a few months when you can forego the preventatives, but your veterinarian will want to test your dog again for heartworms before you restart the meds.

For those of us living in the tropics or even in temperate climes, year-around treatment is the only way to protect your pets.

Experts disagree about heartworm preventatives being necessary for cats that never go outside.  That is a decision you should make as a pet owner.  Before we moved, we always treated our cats each month when we applied their flea & tick preventative.  The cats had free access to the screened lanai through a swinging cat door, and we felt there was the possibility of mosquitos getting through or under the screen door and biting a cat.  It wasn’t a chance we were willing to take.

In our new home, the cats don’t have access to the screened lanai, and we decided to discontinue their heartworm preventative.

Talk this over with your veterinarian to make the right choices for your pet.  He or she will test your pet to be sure it is free of heartworms and then write a prescription for a monthly treatment.  You can purchase this preventive medication from your veterinarian or you can order it online from PetCareRx.com who will call your vet for the prescription approval.  We order all our pet medications from PetCare Rx and find their prices to be the best.

Seniors for Pets, Inc., does benefit from purchases you make through this link.  Seniors for Pets is a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization that helps needy senior citizens pay for basic veterinary care for their pets.

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