Does my dog need heartworm prevention?

Our question this week was:

Does my dog really need heartworm prevention?

If your dog lives in an endemic area, the answer is yes. Heartworm disease is common in Ohio as wells as most states that experience warm weather.

Canine heartworm disease is a serious parasitic disease caused by a long, thin worm that lives in the blood vessels and heart of infected dogs. The disease is spread from dog to dog (and to cat) by mosquitoes. The mosquito bites a dog with a heartworm infection, collects some of the microscopic heartworm offspring from them and then, after a couple of weeks, passes these on to another dog or cat.

All dogs in areas endemic for heartworms should take a preventative. Prevention of heartworm disease is simple. In most cases, a once-monthly prescription tablet or topical treatment is all that is needed to effectively protect your pet. These preventatives are only available from your veterinarian, who must first make certain that your dog is not heartworm positive. Speak to your veterinarian to determine if heartworm prevention is recommended in your area and about specific product recommendations.

Our question this week came from Curt L. Colerain, OH.

Dr. Debra

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