Heart Health Friday...Heartworm Infection 🚫❤️🐛
You know the routine- you walk into your veterinarians office, your pet is either hamming it up for the attention or anxiety ridden in the corner as you are trying to answer questions during a wellness visit. Every time you are asked what you are doing for heartworm prevention and if you are like most owners you are thinking to yourself- do I really need this? Even in the winter? It's -20, how can anything survive in this weather? It's kind of expensive...maybe I'll catch up next month.
STOP right there. This image from the American Heartworm Society (yes, that is a thing ❤️🐛) is pretty busy, but I recommend taking a few moments to read it over. Below, is my quick summary/plea to make sure your pets (yes, dogs AND cats...yes, indoor cats too) are on heartworm preventive EVERY MONTH. As always, feel free to reach out with any questions and speak with your primary care veterinarian before making any changes to your pet's medications.
💛 Heartworm infection has been diagnosed in all 50 states
💛 Evidence shows that even in cold climates, microenvironments exist that don't allow heartworm transmission to reach 0 in cold weather.
💛 Mosquitos are the vector that transmits the infection
💛 The worms live in the vessels around/between the lungs and heart and even in the heart itself.
💛 Infection can occur by simply missing or being late with one dose of heartworm preventive
💛 Annual testing should be performed, although if a dose was knowingly missed it may be recommended to test at 6 month intervals due to the life cycle of the parasite.
💛 Yes, heartworm treatment is possible, but it can be difficult, has risks and isn't cheap. 💸
With that- get an app, set a reminder, write it on the calendar, but please remember to administer your heartworm preventive so we can keep our pets in tip top shape.
And you thought these posts were going to be all about acupuncture needles and adjustments 😂
(📸: @americanheartwormsociety )