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Heartworm Disease and Prevention

Heartworm Disease and Prevention
July 13, 2022

Heartworm prevention for dogs is an important concern for every pet owner.

Prevention is an important part of providing essential care, and heartworm disease prevention for dogs is something every owner can do.

Consider this:

Dogs have been diagnosed with heartworm disease in every state in the U.S.
Heartworms are spread by mosquitoes, so any area of the country that has mosquitoes—even just a few of them—can also have heartworm disease.

Dogs don’t just need prevention during warm-weather months. Heartworm preventives work by treating heartworms that have already infected the pet within the past month or longer; meanwhile, preventives need to be given on time, every time to be effective. That’s why the American Heartworm Society recommends year-round heartworm prevention for pets.

The American Heartworm Society estimates that more than a million dogs in the U.S. have heartworm disease—and heartworm disease can be fatal.

Heartworm preventives are safe, relatively inexpensive, and easy to give, but if a dog becomes infected, heartworm treatment can be costly and difficult, requiring multiple veterinary visits and months of exercise restriction.

While there are drug-free strategies owners can put in place to reduce a pet’s exposure to mosquitoes, there’s no such thing as a “natural” heartworm preventative.

Heartworm preventives come in different forms, including monthly chewable pills and topical “spot-on” medications. Heartworm preventives are available only by prescription from veterinarians and require that an annual heartworm test be performed.

Please give us a call at (207) 772-3385 if you have any questions, need a refill of heartworm medications, or need to get your pet scheduled for a heartworm test if they have not been on prevention recently.