Posted on 04-14-2015
Heartworm infections have been diagnosed in all 50 of the United States of America, including Colorado. Environmental changes, climate changes, and animal movement have increased the potential for heartworm infections in Colorado. Changing urban habitats have expanded the prevalence of mosquitoes, therefore expanding the prevalence for heartworm disease.
Mosquitoes transmit this deadly disease as they take a blood meal from an infected dog. The immature forms of the heartworm are in the blood and develop further in a mosquito. At a future blood meal for the mosquito, the immature forms are deposited into another dog. In their new host, they then continue to develop and make their way through the dog's tissues. They eventually localize to the heart and lungs. The worms can grow in size and numbers, and begin to cause significant damage to the heart. This damage can ultimately lead to death if left untreated.
Heartworm disease can be prevented with several different types of preventative. We recommend a yearly heartworm test to assure that your dog does not have heartworm disease. We recommend that your dog be on heartworm prevention year round. This can be a pill that they take monthly, or an injection that lasts 6 months. The monthly heartworm prevention pill also helps to protect your dog from some of the other internal parasites that they can pick up year round.
Even dogs that spend most of their time inside are susceptible to heartworms. Mosquitos can easily make it inside when doors and windows are open.
This is a great time to get your dog tested for heartworms. Call today to set up an appointment for a test and to get him/her started on heartworm prevention. We are happy to discuss this deadly disease with you further. 303-979-0390
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