It’s critical to recognize the danger that heartworm disease poses to our pets during National Heartworm Awareness Month. West Delray Veterinary is offering knowledge and advice to protect your animal companions from this potentially fatal illness, particularly in areas with elevated mosquito populations like South Florida. Continue reading to find out more about heartworm disease and preventative measures for your pet’s well being.

With rising temperatures and an increase in mosquito populations in our area, it’s critical to be aware of the potentially fatal heartworm disease that can afflict dogs and cats. During National Heartworm Awareness Month, pet owners worldwide are reminded to take preventive action against this silent killer.

Understanding Heartworm Disease

A parasitic worm known as Dirofilaria immitis is the cause of heartworm disease, and it is spread by mosquito bites. These worms mostly live in the blood vessels, heart, and lungs of infected animals. If treatment is not received, these worms can cause serious harm to these vital organs, including heart failure and death.

Prevention Tips:

  • Monthly Preventive Medication:  The best defense against heartworm disease for your pet is to give them monthly heartworm preventive medication as directed by our team of veterinarians.
  • Year-Round Protection: To provide ongoing protection, year-round preventive medication is essential, especially in areas with substantial mosquito activity, such as South Florida.
  • Regular Veterinary Check-ups: Arrange for routine check-ups with our veterinary team to discuss any health concerns or behavioral changes. Signs of heartworm disease can include panting, coughing, and exercise intolerance.  We recommend annual heartworm tests for canine patients.  Testing in feline patients is based on risk, symptoms, and lifestyle.
  • Mosquito Exposure: Limit your pets’ outdoor activity during periods of high mosquito activity and use pet-safe repellents when they are outside to reduce their exposure to mosquitoes.
  • Environmental Management: Eliminate standing water in gutters, containers, and other places where mosquitoes might lay their eggs to lessen the number of mosquito breeding grounds surrounding your house.

The Importance of Prevention

It is much easier and less expensive to prevent heartworm disease than it is to treat an infected animal. We feel strongly that preventative measures are the best way to ensure your pet’s health and well-being. Treating heartworm disease is time-consuming, costly, and poses some risks to the patient.It is our responsibility as conscientious pet owners to shield our animals from the risks associated with preventable illnesses like heartworm disease. Take proactive measures to protect your pet’s health during National Heartworm Awareness Month by arranging for a veterinary examination, refilling preventive medication, and exercising mosquito control techniques around your house. Contact West Delray Veterinary at (561) 777-7173 or visit us at 15065 FL-7 Suite 750, Delray Beach, FL 33446 to make an appointment to go over heartworm prevention and any other pet health issues. We can ensure the long-term safety and well-being of our pets by working together.