American Heartworm Society Update

According to new survey data released this month, the incidence of heartworm positive cases has increased in the United States. Heartworm positive animals have been found in all 50 states, no state is immune from heartworm or the mosquitos that carry it. Tennessee has been upgraded to be in the top 5 states in the country with number of reported cases of heartworm.

The life cycle of the heartworm begins with an infected mosquito bite, if left untreated with prevention, will develop into an adult worm in 3-5 months. These adults cannot be treated with prevention alone, they must be killed with a series of injections which will slowly kill them as they are already in the bloodstream and heart. A pet that is taken off prevention for longer than 2 months is at risk of being exposed.

Heartworm prevention is the only proven method of protecting your pet from heartworms. Prevention is not expensive in comparison to the risks and cost of treating an actively infected pet. Remembering to give prevention is also no longer a problem thanks to injectable options that are given twice a year, instead of monthly. Monthly oral options are easily given as treats and also deworm for intestinal parasites which can be transmitted to other pets or humans. Topical alternatives also offer the added protection from fleas. Due to our upgraded status, we highly recommend giving 12 months of prevention to every pet, even if you travel to cooler climates during the winter. If you need help finding the type of prevention that is right for your pet and you, please contact us, we would love to help you and your pet find the right option. Heartworm prevention cannot be purchased without a Veterinarians approval.

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