Doing your due diligence fighting heartworms

By Connie Orcutt • Published: May 1st, 2017
Category: Animal Airwaves

It’s mosquito season, which recalls the life-threatening effects of heartworm disease. So if you’re the parent of a dog, cat or ferret, listen up.

Adult heartworms living inside dogs or wild canids—that is, their natural hosts—produce offspring that travel in the blood. Feeding mosquitoes ingest these larvae, then inject them into another dog or a cat, ferret or susceptible wild animal during subsequent feedings. Within months, the larvae mature into adults in the heart or pulmonary vessels, and the process repeats itself.

Although the cycle differs from dog to cat to ferret, heartworms wreak havoc on them all. Fortunately, heartworm preventatives effectively kill the larvae. The key is destroying heartworms before they become adults. That’s where you can help—by administering preventative on schedule and all year long.