We all know how important tick prevention is for our dogs as the weather warms up but what about heartworm disease? Is your dog adequately protected?
Heartworm in dogs is a potentially fatal disease that is transmitted from infected to uninfected dogs by mosquitoes. These mosquitoes inject a tiny worm into the dog’s body (microfilaria) which then mature into adult heartworm over about 6 months inside the chambers of the heart. Adult heartworm then cause heart failure which can result in serious illness and death. Heartworm disease is very difficult and expensive to treat so prevention is much better than cure!
According to the Australian Heartworm Advisory Panel, year round heartworm protection is recommended for every dog Australia wide. Therefore, just as we vaccinate pets against deadly viral diseases, heartworm prophylaxis is an important cornerstone of preventative care. Whilst monthly heartworm preventatives have been demonstrated to be effective, when given every month, any lapse in treatment puts patients at higher risk of heartworm disease. Recent research showed that complacency around heartworm prevention has resulted in dogs testing positive to heartworm, in fact around 40% of dogs diagnosed with heartworm disease are on owner-given monthly heartworm preventatives.
The easiest way to avoid forgetting heartworm medication is to use annual heartworm prevention at the time of vaccination. Give us a call to discuss your dog’s heartworm prevention to make sure they are adequately protected leading into the warmer months