Prevention of Heartworms: How Important Is It?
Heartworm prevention is crucial for maintaining your pet’s health and preventing sickness, along with routine immunizations and wellness checks. Keep your four-legged friend on heartworm prevention year-round because mosquitoes don’t hibernate during the winter, and heartworm illness has been identified in every U.S. state.
How heartworm prevention works
The heartworm life cycle
Heartworms can infect any mammal, though they choose dogs as their hosts. Mosquitoes eat microfilariae, or heartworm larvae (L1), from the blood vessels when they bite an infected animal. The larvae are stimulated to molt to the L2 stage by the salivary glands of the mosquito, where they move and molt into infectious L3 larvae. The L3 larvae swim beneath the pet’s subcutaneous tissue as the mosquito feeds. The larvae gradually molt through two stages as they go toward the pet’s heart. Eventually, they reach the major pulmonary artery, where they mature and begin to reproduce.
Look into your pet’s options for heartworm prevention in observance of National Heartworm Awareness Month. Give our staff a call to learn more about the heartworm preventive that will protect your pet’s health at its highest level.