Heartworm Prevention: It is the only play!

Heartworm disease is a serious condition that affects thousands of dogs in the United States and is easily transmitted from dog to dog through mosquitoes. Living in the pulmonary arteries of infected dogs, heartworm disease can be fatal if left untreated. Symptoms can include coughing, sluggishness and difficulty breathing, though some dogs may show no clinical signs at all. As off recently, the traditional treatment Immiticide (Melarsomide Hydrochloride) has experience a nationwide shortage. At this point it is completely out of stock and there is no real estimated time of it returning to the market. In essence, there is no current available treatment for Heartworm Disease.

Fortunately for all of our pets, this is a very preventable disease, and there is a great supply of very effective, heartworm preventatives in the market today. It is imperative as a pet owner, to stay on top of the heartworm preventative for your pet. Remember, today, prevention is the last line of defense against Heartworm Disease.

If your pet is not currently taking a heartworm preventative, make sure to contact your veterinarian immediately. A heartworm test is necessary prior to initiating prevention, as some of the preventatives might do serious harm to infected pets. If your pet is on a preventative, it is still recommended to have a heartworm test performed annually to ensure your pet is heartworm free.

Practicing prevention and wellness medicine is always recommended, but when it comes to heartworm disease, it is essential. Even when treatment was readily available, it was terribly expensive, and as off today, there is no certainty as to when treatment will become available. Contact your veterinarian and ask about his recommendations with regards to heartworm prevention. To use a football analogy: in this “game” defense is the only play!

Keep them healthy!