Skip to main content

Summer Issue

CareCheckup

Veterinary

Is your pet protected from heartworm disease?

It just takes one bite.

Heartworm disease happens when mosquito carriers spread microscopic heartworm larvae by biting an infected animal and then biting your pet. Worms grow and lodge in an infected pet's heart, lungs and pulmonary arteries, where they cause illness — and even death.

  • Your pet could be infected with heartworms without showing any symptoms until these parasites are well-established in the body.
  • This potentially fatal disease is more common in dogs than cats, but your cat is at risk too — even if your cat lives 'indoors-only'.

The good news is that heartworm disease is almost 100% preventable!

The Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC) is forecasting higher levels of heartworm transmission nationwide. As the CAPC's rankings show, it is expanding beyond certain regions. Wherever there are mosquitoes, there's the risk of your pet getting infected with heartworm disease, no matter what the climate. It just takes one bite from a disease-carrying mosquito.

There is no "off season" when it comes to heartworm disease.
The threat of infection is year-round
, as mosquitoes can live up to 5-6 months and survive winter in basements, garages and sheds.

All pets need protection.

Heartworm symptoms in dogs:

  • Deep chest cough
  • Fatigue and lethargy
  • Bloated stomach
  • Labored breathing
  • Weight loss

Heartworm symptoms in cats:

  • Coughing and gagging
  • Vomiting
  • Breathing problems
  • Weight loss
  • Lethargy
  • Sudden death

Protect your pet!

Here's what you can do.

  • Take your pet to your veterinarian. A simple test can determine if your pet is infected.
  • If your pet is parasite-free, start a parasite prevention plan as soon as possible.
  • Use your veterinarian-recommended parasite prevention all year round. Most heartworm medications also help control intestinal parasites such as roundworms and hookworms.
  • Have your pet re-checked for heartworm disease annually.
back to top