￼Heartworms are one of the deadliest, and most preventable, diseases that we see in our companion animals. Statistically, 1 in 8 dogs and 1 in 25 cats (indoor and outdoor both) will contract heartworm disease in Oklahoma if not on prevention. Heartworm is spread by mosquitos, so if you’ve ever been bitten by a mosquito, it’s likely your dog has been bitten too!
What’s the good news?
Prevention is easy! And it can be very inexpensive as well. Additionally, most of the common preventatives take care of at least other intestinal parasites (which can be contagious to humans), and several preventatives also treat for fleas.
Indoor dogs are just as at risk as outdoor dogs. Not only to indoor dogs go outside for bathroom breaks, but there are three species of mosquitos that live strictly indoors. The only way to keep your dog safe is to keep them on monthly heartworm prevention.
Worried your dog has heartworms already?
Don’t worry, we’ve got that under control too! Heartworm treatment has advanced by leaps and bounds over the decades, and now it is much safer and easier than ever before. Years ago, arsenic was the only treatment we had available. Now, we have Immiticide. This drug is injected intramuscularly, and has minimal side effects in properly managed patients.
What about your cats?
The prevalence of heartworm disease in cats is ever growing. It is now more important than ever to keep your cat on a monthly prevention. The most common feline heartworm prevention is also an intestinal parasite preventative, ear mite preventative and adult fleat treatment. Talk about convenient! There are a few other things you should know about feline heartworm disease. First, nearly 20% of heartworm positive cats are indoors only. Second, there is still no effective treatment for feline heartworm disease. so prevention is our only weapon. And lastly, feline heartworm disease can cause severe respiratory disease, and even sudden death, so we don’t want to overlook this important piece of the puzzle for your cat’s complete health care.