Heartworm Prevention in Dogs
Heartworm prevention in dogs is a year-round job. It must be given once a month and you can choose from an oral treat (Heartgard, Sentinel, Trifexis) or a topical application (Revolution). These products also provide monthly deworming for intestinal parasites and some even eliminate fleas. Choosing a product can be confusing but we can answer your questions and help you choose the best heartworm prevention for you and your pet.
Why do I have to give the Heartworm prevention all year, when it’s cold outside?Heartworms are transmitted from dog to dog through mosquitos. We would need a longer, colder winter to prevent our mosquito populations from surviving during the winter. Mosquitos will even find warm, moist areas to survive despite cold weather. Some mosquito species are able to live indoors and can easily survive year round. The hardiness of our mosquito population makes it imperative that we provide heartwoprm protection for our pets all through the year. They don’t take a break and neither can we!
If I have my dog on heartworm prevention all year, then why do I need the heartworm test each year? There are several reasons that we, at Midlothian Animal Clinic, require the annual heartworm test. First, the pet may spit the pill out and you may not see it at the time. Also, if the medicine fails to work (improper storage), a test is the earliest chance to detect it. Did you know that if you have bought and administered the medication, and had the dog tested annually the makers of the prevention will pay for treatment. This guarantee does not apply to prevention bought over the internet because of the questionable supply channels. Lastly, the heartworm test also screens for exposure to tick-related diseases such as Lyme, Anaplasma, and Ehrlichia, all of which are present in Richmond.
The most important thing to remember is that the best way to handle heartworm disease is to prevent it! This life threatening disease permanently damages your dog’s heart and lungs. It is expensive to treat and there are side effects of treatment to consider as well. Finally, you can buy 11 years of heartworm prevention for the cost of treating the disease!
Call our office today with any questions or stop by and pick up 12 months of heartworm prevention (with a current heartworm test on file).