Jan 08 2015

Heartworm Season is Upon Us! Protect Against The Bite!

Heartworm season is typically from June 1st until November 1st. Book your dog in today for a heartworm test to ensure he/she did not contract heartworm disease last summer.

Here are some common Q&A we receive at the clinic:

What is Heartworm?

Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal disease that is spread to dogs though bites from mosquitoes carrying the heartworm larvae. Once passed to dogs, these larvae mature and reside in the large vessels of the heart.

Can I Catch Heartworm From My Pet?

You cannot contract Heartworm from your pet if he/she is infected. Heartworm is not contagious and can only be transmitted by a bite from an infected mosquito. In rare cases, people can get heartworm after being bitten by an infected mosquito. However people are not a natural host for heartworms, the larvae usually migrate to the heart and lung arteries and die before they become adult worms.

How Can I Prevent Heartworm?

Heartworm can be prevented with a simple, once-monthly dose of medication. There are multiple modalities of prevention available such as; topical ointments, chews, and flavoured tablets. These products are multipurpose and can also prevent against fleas, ticks, mites, mange and certain types of internal parasites.

How Do You Test For Heartworm?

A simple annual blood test is required to ensure your pet has not contracted heartworm disease from the previous summer season. It takes 6 months for an infected dog to test positive, so testing is for exposure the previous year. Therefore puppies that are born after mosquito season ends do not require testing prior to starting prevention their first season.

What Are The Signs Of Heartworm?

The severity of heartworm disease is directly related to how many worms are living inside the dog, how long the dog has been infected, and how the dog’s body is responding to the presence of the heartworms.

Signs may vary from an occasional cough, tiredness after mild activity and trouble breathing. Always consult with your veterinarian if any of these signs arise.

Is Heartworm Fatal To My Pet?

This parasite can cause serious and permanent damage to the circulatory system, which can lead to congestive heart failure, breathing problems and death. There are several confirmed positive cases of heartworm in London and surrounding areas every year.

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