Heartworm Prevention: Do It Now!

If you live in Cannon Falls, MN, now is a good time to see a dog vet for heartworm prevention. Spread by mosquitoes, heartworms are deadly parasites that are easier to prevent than treat. Since there are more mosquitoes in summer, it is a good idea to start preventatives before enjoying outdoor adventures with your dog. Here are five reasons why you need to make heartworm testing and prevention a priority:

  • Heartworm is everywhere: Heartworm infections turn up in every U.S. state. It spreads through mosquitoes, so even brief times outdoors can result in the disease. In fact, the American Heartworm Society estimates that more than one million dogs contract heartworm disease each year and recommend prevention measures even in dry climates with fewer mosquitoes.
  • It is a risk year-round: At Cannon Veterinary Services Ltd., we start testing dogs for heartworm in March and recommend all parasite prevention at that time. While the focus on heartworms is often during warmer months when mosquitoes are out in force, the disease is not limited to those times. The American Heartworm Society recommends year-round prevention, which works by treating heartworms that may have infected your dog within the last month or longer. That is why preventatives must be given on time every year to be effective.
  • Prevention is the best course of action: While preventatives are only available by prescription, they are safe, inexpensive and easy to administer. You can choose between monthly chewable pills or spot medications. There is even an injection that your dog can receive every six or 12 months. Even if you do not like to give pills or monthly treatments, prevention is always a better course of action than risking infection. Once infected, your dog requires costly and frequent vet visits and exercise limitations. While these efforts could be successful, it is likely the infection will be fatal.
  • There are no “natural” treatments: The incentive to forgo drugs and treat ailments “naturally” is not limited to humans. Those who indulge in essential oils and natural diets to avoid disease also wish to apply it to their pets. However, there is no “natural” treatment for heartworms other than to eliminate all exposure to mosquitoes. The only and best preventative for the disease is with tested treatments prescribed by your veterinarian.
  • Heartworms are not limited to dogs: If you have other animals in your home, it is a good idea to put them on the same heartworm routine as your dog. Cats and ferrets can also contract heartworm disease, and there are preventative medications that can prevent it for them as well.

Heartworm preventatives treat heartworms, fleas, and intestinal parasites. We understand which parasites are most likely to infect your dog and can make recommendations during a heartworm test appointment.

Cannon Veterinary Services Ltd. is a dog vet in Cannon Falls, MN, offering vaccinations, exams, heartworm treatment and more. Call us today to schedule your appointment and help your dog stay healthy.