April is Heartworm Disease Awareness Month!
April is Heartworm Disease Awareness Month! While heartworm disease is present in all fifty states, it is particularly common in Southeast, Mid-South, Gulf Coast, and Mississippi Delta regions of the United States. Sadly, South Florida regularly boasts one of the highest caseloads of heartworm disease in the country.
Heartworm disease is carried by mosquitoes and infects both dogs and cats. While we can do our part to control mosquito populations by dumping the standing water in which they breed, our neighbors might not be as diligent. For this reason, it is imperative to keep both dogs and cats on monthly heartworm prevention. While many pet owners feel that pets who do not go outside often (or ever in the case of indoor cats), mosquitoes will often enter the house as humans come and go. A single bite from an infected mosquito is all that is necessary to transmit the disease to our furry family members. The treatment for canine heartworm disease is very expensive with potentially dangerous side effects. There is no treatment for feline heartworm disease. In both species, the disease is usually fatal if left untreated.
Heartworm prevention is relatively inexpensive and easy to dispense. Products are prescription-only, and regular screening will ensure their continued effectiveness. Topical versions are available for cats, while most dogs readily enjoy meat-flavored chewable products. Heartworm prevention also protects pets from many of the intestinal parasites found in South Florida as well. At Sabal Chase Animal Clinic, we can help you find the product that’s right for your pet. Give us a call today!