Heartworm Prevention for Dogs and Cats
Heartworm disease is transmitted by mosquitoes. Due to the multiple surrounding lakes, rivers and bottomlands in Western Kentucky, we see a large amount of heartworm positive pets. The mosquito bites your pet and ingests a blood meal. The microscopic larval stages are passed from one dog/cat to another when the mosquito bites your pet. As the larval stage grows it becomes a parasite (spaghetti-like worm) that literally lives in your dog or cat’s heart. The presence of the worms interferes with the heart’s ability to pump blood to the rest of the body. Consequently, the heart and lungs fail to function properly, and the dog or cat becomes very sick. It can even be fatal.
The Animal Kare Center recommends that you protect your pet against heartworms year around. Screening and prevention is the best. Treatment of the disease can be difficult, costly, and potentially deadly. Since it only takes one mosquito to cause heartworm disease, even indoor pets should be on prevention.
Dr. Niki Henderson recommends a quick and simple blood test before preventative medication is started to make sure your pet is not affected with heartworm disease already . This bloodtest will also check for other ectoparasitic disease. Cost is $29.50.
The Animal Kare Center carries a variety of Heartworm Prevention Medications, like Advantage Multi and Heartgard.