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7 Heartworm Disease Myths You Need to Know

heartworm disease, heartworm infectionAlmost everyone who owns a pet has heard the term “heartworm” from their vet or someone else. Unfortunately, there are myths regarding heartworm disease and some pet owners let their guard down because they hear these myths and let their guard down. The fact is that they do need to be concerned, prepared, and vigilant in order to ensure that their pet stays as healthy as possible.

 

Here are the 10 most common heartworm disease myths that you should be aware of so that you can do all you can to prevent heartworms in your pet:

 

1. Heartworm disease doesn’t happen in my state/area.

 

Heartworm disease is practically everywhere. In the U.S., it has been diagnosed in all 50 states and is more prevalent in the southern states. It is recommended that dogs receive treatments for year-round prevention.

 

2. Dogs only need heartworm prevention in the summer when mosquitoes are active.

 

Year-round heartworm prevention is recommended for all dogs regardless of geographic location.

 

3. Dogs with heartworm infection need to be separated from other pets.

 

Dogs with heartworm disease cannot transmit it to other pets or even people. The only way for a dog to get heartworm disease is if they are bitten by a mosquito that is carrying heartworm larvae. However, a dog with Microfilaria, which is produced by the adult heartworms in a dog with heartworm disease, can be the source of infection if bitten by a mosquito. Using a product that is designed to treat microfilaria can reduce transmission.

 

4. Puppies are naturally immune from heartworms at birth.

 

Any dog can be infected with heartworms at any age. All it takes is a bite by a mosquito that is carrying the heartworm larvae. Nursing puppies are a target, so it is important to begin heartworm prevention as soon as possible.

 

5. Only dogs get heartworms.

 

The fact is that any domestic animal can get heartworms. Dogs, cats, ferrets, and rabbits are all susceptible. As a matter of fact, the number of feline diagnoses is on the rise. It is recommended the ferrets receive year-round protection because they are at a high risk.

 

6. Indoor cats don’t need heartworm treatment.

 

Just because a cat is an indoor cat doesn’t mean that it is safe. A study showed that 27% of cats infected with heartworm disease are always indoors. This means that indoor-only cats should also be treated.

 

7. Cats and dogs are affected the same way.

 

In cats, heartworms mainly affect the pulmonary vessels and lungs, which can cause feline heartworm disease to be misdiagnosed. In dogs, heartworms locate in the lungs and along the right side of the heart. Regardless of the differences, heartworms can cause serious damage in cats and dogs.

 

It is very important to take your pet to annual veterinarian appointments so they can receive a checkup and the needed and preventative heartworm treatment so that your furry family member can remain healthy for as long as possible.


Article Tags: #heartworm disease #heartworm prevention #heartworm infection
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