Heartworm Disease Prevention

One million dogs are estimated to be heartworm positive in the United States each year. Prevention is your pet’s best shield against heartworm disease.

What is Heartworm Disease?
Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal condition that affects up to 30 species of animals including cats and dogs. Heartworms spread by traveling inside mosquitoes as larvae. When infected mosquitoes bite your pet, the heartworm larvae transfer to your pet and work their way to the heart. Once there, the worms grow, feeding off the lining of the heart and clogging up major blood vessels. The worms can cause permanent damage to your pet’s arteries, vital organs, blood vessels, and heart.

Where is Heartworm Disease?
Everywhere! Heartworm disease has been reported in all 50 states. Virginia and many other east coast states have a higher incidence of heart worm disease. That’s why it’s so important to protect your pet against this dangerous and potentially fatal disease.

The map from the American Heartworm Society shows particularly endemic areas based on the number of cases reported by clinics.

How to Prevent Heartworm Disease?

The great news is that heartworm disease is almost 100% preventable! The American Heartworm Society recommends that you meet with your vet to discuss what prevention method is best for your pet. Prevention is safe, easy, and usually inexpensive. In addition to a preventative method, your pet should get an annual heartworm test performed by your veterinarian. Personally, my Chihuahua, Chuy gets a monthly tablet that he takes year round.

If your dog is infected with heartworms, treatment is possible for dogs but it’s an expensive and complicated process. Unfortunately, there is not an effective treatment option for cats. The best thing you can do is get your pet on a monthly prevention plan! It could save their life!

Leave a Paw Print!
Write a comment below telling us how you prevent heartworm disease in your pet or any other tips you have for other pet parents about heartworm disease prevention. 

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