Tennessee is one of the TOP FIVE states where heartworm disease is diagnosed.
Mosquitoes are the guilty culprits for spreading heartworm disease, but this can be avoided with simple preventive measures. Protection begins as early as 6-8 weeks of age in puppies and kittens. Dogs should be tested annually to determine if infection occurred from the previous season. Like many diseases, the earlier heartworms can be detected, the chances become much higher that your pet will recover.
MYTH VS. FACT
Myth: Heartworms are only transmitted in the summer.
Fact: Mosquitoes that transmit heartworms can thrive before and after summer — or possibly hang around all year.
Myth: My cat and dog always stay indoors. They don’t need heartworm prevention.
Fact: Mosquitoes can enter into the house through open doors and windows and it only takes one bite to infect your pet. 1 in 4 cats diagnosed with heartworms is strictly an indoor-only cat.
Myth: Heartworm prevention isn’t worth it.
Fact: For dogs, the cost is around $10 a month. Decide to skip preventive care? Expect to pay $1,000+ for treatment!
Myth: My dog is on preventive medication, so he doesn’t need to be tested.
Fact: Medications can be spit out, rubbed off or forgotten, inviting plenty of opportunity for infection. Although heartworm medications are highly effective, a few cases of resistance have been documented. As a result, the American Heartworm Society (AHS) recommends year-round administration of preventive medication along with annual testing.
If heartworm disease in a dog goes undetected and untreated, the worms can cause progressive and potentially fatal damage to arteries, heart and lungs. Like dogs, cats can get heartworm disease too. While cats are not as easily infected, just one or two heartworms can make a cat very sick.
Spring, summer, fall or winter, your pets need year-round prevention to keep them free of deadly heartworms and other parasites.