Heartworm disease is a progressive condition that can be fatal! Dogs, cats, and ferrets can all become infected with the parasite after being bitten by an infected mosquito. One infected dog can greatly increase the risk of infection to other dogs in the area. In a kennel environment with one heartworm, positive dog on average 7 out of 10 mosquitoes will be infected.
Mosquitoes are commonly seen in Butler County. They will be in high numbers around standing water. The ideal environmental temperature for a mosquito is around 80 degrees but they can survive in temperatures as low as 50 degrees. So that means in Butler County we most likely will see mosquitoes 12 months of the year. This is why you must give your pet heartworm prevention once a month year around. By missing one month or even going longer than 30 days between doses you are leaving your pet unprotected. The American Heartworm Society recommends 12 doses of Heartworm prevention per year and testing every 12 months.
We often hear the comment my pet never goes outside so it doesn’t need heartworm prevention, but that doesn’t eliminate the risk of disease. 1 in 4 cats that test positive for Heartworm disease is totally indoor. All pets need to be on Heartworm prevention.
In our practice last year we treated 8 dogs and more tested positive. Heartworm disease is common, and we want all our patients to be protected. This is not only to keep your pets as healthy as possible but to save you money. For the average 40lb dog the cost of Heartworm treatment is 15 times more than a year of prevention.
Heartworm prevention comes in several forms: oral tablet/chew, topical, and injectible. If you have trouble remembering to give the prevention our PetDesk app will remind you. If you have any questions about Heartworm disease we will be happy to answer them.