Heartworm Prevention in 3 Easy Steps
No one wants to find themselves in the position of having to treat a pet with heartworm. Caused by mosquitoes, heartworm is costly, lengthy and requires complete rest, not to mention the discomfort and risk of death. With the safe and affordable heartworm preventives available today, no pet should ever have to endure this dreaded disease.
- Schedule an appointment for blood work. Because it usually takes several years for dogs to show clinical signs of infection, blood work is a crucial step in ensuring your pet can be treated preventatively without worry. These blood tests look for antigens, or proteins, from adult heartworms, and all animals over six months of age should be tested. In addition, yearly re-testing is recommended. That’s because no preventative method is 100% effective; people often forget to give their dog the heartworm preventative treatment on time, and dogs sometimes spit out the entire dose of preventative. Yearly testing ensures that no infection has slipped through the cracks while also identifying heartworms that have mutated and are resistant to the preventative. Since it takes six months from the time of exposure until the adult worms establish in the heart, puppies under six months of age will not have an adult infection. Therefore, they can be placed on heartworm preventatives without undergoing the testing.
- Purchase a safe, heartworm preventative. Heartgard Plus is our number one recommended Heartworm preventative. This oral, flavored chew is given every 30 days to prevent heartworm disease. It also treats and controls three species of hookworms and two species of roundworms, intestinal worms that can be transmissible to humans and are most likely to show up in children who have their hands in the soil. Take advantage of the sales and instant rebates at our online pharmacy this month to purchase your supply.
- Set a calendar reminder. Due to unpredictable warming temperatures in the fall and spring, we are seeing more cases of heartworm disease than ever in Colorado. Therefore, we recommend using heartworm prevention year round. Giving your pet a monthly dose of prevention is your best defense for protecting your pet, especially if you hike, camp, travel within or outside of Colorado, or have children in the home. A recurring calendar reminder for the first day of every month is an easy way to ensure you never miss a dose.