Mosquitoes - those pesky warm weather irritants - are more than just a nuisance to dogs. One bite from a mosquito that carries the heartworm parasite can result in the death of your dog.
What is Heartworm Disease?
Heartworm is a parasite that mosquitoes transmit to dogs. The adult worms live inside the dog's heart and nearby blood vessels, where they cause devastating damage. If not diagnosed in time, permanent damage develops.
Who is At Risk?
We've all been bothered by mosquitoes. If you've been bitten, so has your dog. Just remember, one bite is all it takes.
What Can I Do?
The good news is heartworm disease can be prevented. Heartworm disease can be diagnosed by your veterinarian using a routine blood test. Each dog should be tested every year to make sure infection hasn't occurred. Your veterinarian can then prescribe one of the simple and convenient heartworm preventives now available. Heartworm disease, like many other illnesses, is much easier to
prevent than to treat.
What if My Dog Tests Positive for Heartworm?
The longer your dog has heartworm disease, the more damage occurs, and the more difficult it is to treat. Treatment for heartworm disease can be dangerous to your dog and expensive for you. There are medications to combat the various stages of the worm, but again, prevention is the best treatment. Be a lifesaver for your family pet!
This information is provided to you compliments of:
Rhode Island Veterinary Medical Association
P.O. Box 154, Barrington, RI 02806-0154