Every summer, the media buzz with tales about diseases in humans spread by pesky insects. Mosquitoes are more than just a nuisance to people, though. It could be a serious health risk to your pets as well.
Heartworm disease is a severe and potentially deadly condition in pets. It is caused by foot-long, blood-borne parasitic worms that live in the host’s heart, lungs, and blood vessels. Heartworms are transmitted from one host to another through mosquito bites. The infection can cause heart failure, severe lung disease, and organ damage.
Heartworms typically live in dogs and sometimes cats. But it can also thrive in other mammals, such as ferrets, wolves, and in some rare cases, humans.
There are many products approved by the Food and Drug Administration to prevent heartworms in dogs and cats. All these need a prescription from the veterinarian. Your pet should be tested for heartworm disease every year. This is crucial even when it’s on monthly heartworm preventives. This way, you can ensure that the prevention program is effective.
As they say, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” It sounds cliché, but heartworm preventatives are safe, affordable, and easy to administer. But if your pet becomes infected, treatment can be challenging and costly. This is because it requires many visits to the vet and months of commitment to exercise restriction. Prevention is so much better than cure since it saves you from the stress, energy, and resources associated with being sick.
If your cat or dog is not on a regular heartworm preventative, the risk of contracting this potentially deadly disease is increased. Remember that it only takes a single heartworm-carrier mosquito to infect your beloved furry companion. Schedule your pet’s checkup today at Santa Monica Pet Medical Center in Santa Monica, California. Call us at (310) 393-8218 for more information.