Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal disease primarily of dogs. Cats may sometimes become infected, but since they are not a natural host they will usually have no signs of disease. This blood parasite, Dirofilaria immitis, is spread via mosquitos and will grow in the heart and the arteries of the lungs. These worms, which can range in size from 3 to 14 inches, can cause heart, lung, liver and kidney failure.
Heartworms can not spread directly from dog to dog. A mosquito must first bite an infected dog. It then transmits the larvae in the blood to the next dog. Coyotes may also harbor this organism so we see as much heartworm in the country as in town. The heartworms can live in a dog for 1-2 years before clinical signs begin to develop. Once signs develop, there is usually a significant problem going on inside.
Heartworms can easily be prevented with a once-a-month treatment. We carry two types of oral medications as well as one topical. If a dog develops heartworm disease it may be very expensive to treat so we highly recommend a preventative. We can check for this disease with a simple blood test at the cinic and have results in about 8 minutes or less.
FLEAS!!!!! This is the time to start treating your animals for fleas. One adult female can lay as many as 50 eggs per day. That means that two fleas can turn into thousands in just a few short weeks! The more fleas you kill right of the bat at this time of year will mean thousands less to deal with later in the summer.
The best flea control measures are the monthly treatments. We have some new products that work great. We even have a new chewable tablet that prevents heartworms and kills fleas all in one!