Heartworm tests are recommended annually for all dogs. Just one mosquito bite can transfer a heartworm, which can be fatal if left untreated. Mosquitos aren't just in ponds and lakes- they like to hang out in basements, birdbaths, and even irrigated lawns. Because of increased pet travel and irrigation in more arid climates, areas of the US that never had heartworm disease present are now seeing an uptick in prevalence of the disease.
Because humans insist upon building homes in areas that wildlife live, we also need to worry about heartworm disease carried by coyotes. There is a higher incidence of heartworm disease in areas with coyote populations, as they are often positive for heartworms and act as carriers.
Mosquitos carry the heartworm larvae, and can literally inject it into your dog with a single bite. Our super-fluffy friends aren't at less risk- ears, noses, and bellies with less fur all post risks for bites. The baby heartworms then grow up and live in your pet's heart, reproducing until heart failure occurs.
Treatment involves hospitalization, injections to kill the adults, and oral medications to kill the babies. Treatment can takes months to years, and sometimes can result in fatal embolisms as the heartworms die. It's a truly horrible disease, but is easily tested and prevented with a monthly anti-parasitic.
It only takes a couple drops of blood to know if your pet has been affected, and Fuzzy provides testing in your home- with results in less than 10 minutes. Once we're sure your pet is negative for heartworm disease, Fuzzy will get you started on the right prevention for your lifestyle. Most pets love the taste, and look forward to their monthly treat!