When it comes to pests that can pose health problems to dogs, heartworms can sometimes be overlooked. Especially with the presence of parasites such as fleas and ticks, the condition may not get as much attention as it deserves. However, according to recent statistics, some pet owners may be doing their dogs a disservice if they don’t pay attention to the threat of heartworms and give their furry friends the regular treatment they need.
A study conducted by the American Heartworm Society found that pets have been diagnosed with the condition in virtually every county in every state across the country. The research, which focused on more than 5,000 veterinary clinics across the United States found that some clinics held up to 100 infected dogs, while some animal shelters experienced up to 70 percent of their animals with heartworms. This is especially troubling given the fact that dogs can die from the condition, as well as spread it to other canines. While there is treatment available, it is often extremely costly, and pet owners would be best served to take preventative measures.
Some dog owners think that their pet may be immune to contracting heartworms, but even if one lives in an area where it is not prevalent, all it takes is one bite from an infected mosquito.
“Some owners – even some veterinarians – question the necessity of following these recommendations, thinking that the cold or dry climate they live in makes such vigilance unnecessary,” said AHS President Wallace Graham. “However, we can cite case after case of heartworm-positive pets living in areas assumed to be low-risk for heartworm. It only takes one bite from an infected mosquito for a pet to acquire a heartworm infection.”
There are several signs that your pet may have heartworms, the most significant of which include lethargy, lack of appetite and weight loss. Luckily, there are numerous ways to prevent the parasites from setting in.
Heartgard Plus Chewables are an excellent choice for dog owners as it is a real-beef tablet that is one of the most tasty medications to prevent heartworms. Given once a month, the tablets work by releasing an antiparasitic medicine that prevent heartworms, roundworms and hookworms.