Heartworms in dogs can be easily prevented, but when not prevented, heartworms can create devastating health concerns. Unfortunately, because there are so many myths out there about heartworms, too many dogs and outdoor cats don't get the preventative heartworm treatment they need. The following is a look at the very important facts every resident in Windsor, Elizabeth City, and the Outer Banks area should know about heartworm prevention and heartworm treatment:
Heartworm Prevention and Treatment Facts
- Heartworms are transmitted by infected mosquitoes. You may have heard that pets can only get heartworms in the summer, but that's not entirely true. Heartworms are spread by infected mosquitoes, which can bite your pet any time of the year, but are more common during the summer. When an infected mosquito bites your pet, it leaves behind tiny heartworm larvae that will slowly grow over the course of six to eight months until they measure as long as 12 inches.
- It is very, very rare for humans to get heartworms. Heartworms are a very specific parasite that has adapted to infect dogs, cats, ferrets, and other small to mid-sized mammals. While there are some very, very rare situations in which a heartworm may infect a person, it will be unable to complete its life cycle.
- One dog cannot give indoor dog heartworms. If you have two dogs and both dogs are inside and not near any mosquitoes, then it is impossible for one dog to give another dog heartworms. The only way heartworms can be transmitted is through the bite of an infected mosquito.
- How can I prevent my dog from getting heartworms? The only surefire way to ensure your dog doesn't get heartworms (besides never allowing him outside, which is not worth it) is to put him on a monthly preventative pill prescribed by your local veterinary team. Preventative heartworm medications generally cost between $30 to $80 for a six-month supply. These pills are nearly 100 percent effective.
- Heartworm treatment is expensive, but can resolve a heartworm infestation. Heartworm prevention is the very best thing to do to keep your pets healthy. However, if your pet is diagnosed with heartworm, there are solutions. These solutions, however, can range from $500 to $1,000 and dogs that were badly infected with heartworms may still suffer lifelong health complications due to how the parasites affected the animal's bloodstream, lungs, and heart.
Get Your Pet's Heartworm Medication Today
Don't let heartworms infest your pet. Contact our veterinary team today to get your pet signed up for a heartworm preventative.