Vet Blog

Heartworm Awareness

May 07, 2019

We always encourage monthly prevention and regular heartworm tests to ensure your pet is not at risk for the deadly disease.

Dr. Meuth has given us his input on the topic: As spring has now sprung, we see lots of new life. Lawns greening up, gardens sprouting, and flowers blooming. One other new life is the return of the mosquito in large numbers.

Heartworms and the disease they spread are introduced to our pets by these mosquitos. Both dogs and cats get heartworm disease. Heartworm disease is one of the most common and devastating diseases veterinarians in our area see. We literally live in one of the worst areas in the USA. It's the large number of mosquitoes that make this area so problematic.

I hope this article will remind us of the importance of maintaining excellent heartworm protection in our pets. And although the mosquito numbers are starting to increase with the warmer weather, we have mosquitos year-round here. It is imperative that we keep our fuzzy friends protected year-round.

One more new, and scary, problem is the fact that some strains of heartworms have developed a resistance to some of our protective medications. We have diagnosed resistant strains here in Baytown just recently. No longer are preventatives equal in protection. Some clearly work better than others in resistant strains. We must not choose wisely when picking protective medications.

Because of this new resistance threat to our pets, many experts are not recommending one additional layer of protection - adding mosquito repellency to our control. By reducing the number of bites our pets get, we reduce exposure. We expect to be following these new recommendations at our clinics as well.

Our furry friends can't protect themselves, it's up to us to keep them safe. To do a good job we must:

  1. Treat our pet year-round; no missed doses.
  2. Make sure we are picking the more effective products (discuss with your veterinarian).
  3. Strongly consider adding repellency to bolster our protection