Are heartworms fighting back?

By Susan Aiello • Published: May 3rd, 2011
Category: Animal Airwaves

Are heartworms fighting back against the monthly treatments commonly used to prevent this serious infection in animals? The large number of cases in Southern states has led some experts to wonder.

While the American Heartworm Society is investigating whether resistance to heartworm medication is indeed on the rise, other factors may also be at work.

Medication can’t do its job unless it’s given. Effective prevention requires year-round treatment, yet nearly 60 percent of dogs seen by veterinarians in the southern U-S do not receive monthly preventive treatment.

Similarly, prevention can’t work if pills are spit out or if topical treatments get washed off.

Another consideration is simply that today’s tests may be able to detect more heartworm than the tests of yesteryear.

In any case, remember that monthly preventives are still the best way to keep your pet heartworm free.