Springtime is here, and with it, come the mosquitoes. This is the time of year that we start thinking about heartworm prevention again for your dogs.
Heartworm disease is a parasite that is spread to our pets through the bite of a mosquito. This parasite gets into the bloodstream and localizes in the heart and lungs. The worms start out as very tiny, immature forms, and as they migrate to the heart, they become much bigger worms. These much bigger worms are capable of causing significant damage to the heart and lungs of our dogs. They can even lead to death.
Many years ago, heartworm disease was rare in Colorado. It was always thought of as being a disease in much more humid climates that had significant larger numbers of mosquitoes. As lifestyles have changed, and people and pets are relocating more frequently, we have begun to see more cases of heartworm disease in Colorado. As our dogs are leading more active lifestyles, they are exposed more frequently to mosquitoes. This puts them at risk for developing heartworm disease. Even dogs that spend most of their time indoors are at risk for heartworms. Mosquitoes don’t know how to respect the sanctity of our indoor space.
There is a treatment for this harmful and deadly disease, and there is also a prevention for this disease. The treatment for the disease can be very difficult on dogs, who are already dealing with damage to their heart and lungs. The safest thing for our dogs is to put them on heartworm prevention. There are numerous types of monthly heartworm preventative pills on the market. Along with preventing heartworms, the pills also help to protect your dog from other intestinal parasites that they can pick up in their
everyday life. The American Heartworm Society recommends that your dog be on heartworm prevention year round. There is also an injection available for heartworm prevention that protects your dog for 12 months. This is a great option for prevention so you don’t have to remember to give your dog a pill monthly. We can help you decided which option is best for your dog.
The American Heartworm Society recommends that your dog be tested for heartworms once yearly. This is a si
mple blood test that can be done in our office.
Please call our office today (303-619-5191) to schedule a heartworm test for your dog and to discuss available prevention options.