Heartworm disease is a serious, progressive, potentially fatal disease in dogs and cats. Heartworms are transmitted by mosquitoes, then migrate to the heart and vessels of the lungs, leading to lung and heart disease as well as organ damage to the liver and kidneys. There is no treatment in cats, and treatment in dogs is expensive and high-risk, making prevention the best strategy for both dogs and cats.
Heartworm disease is in all 50 states! (Click on the map above to investigate prevalence at the Companion Animal Parasite Council website.) This is most likely due to infected wildlife carriers and positive pets migrating north. Also, mosquitoes are able to over-winter in certain areas (i.e. indoors).
The American Heartworm Society recommends all pets be tested for heartworms annually and kept on year-round preventive medication. Keep in mind that indoor-only pets are at risk for a mosquito bite just as well as those that venture outdoors.
Ask your veterinarian about heartworm disease today!