Take the Bite Out of Mosquitoes and Heartworms

Two dogs laying on the top step on a front porch

Summer is almost upon us. As most people look forward to this time, the same cannot be said for pets. Why? During warm periods following rain, that is the time mosquitoes thrive. Do you know when mosquitoes thrive, so does heartworm disease?

While mosquito bites are bad for people, they are particularly worse for pets, especially cats and dogs. It only takes four days for a mosquito to develop from egg to adult. Mosquitoes are known to carry and spread heartworm disease.

What Is Heartworm Disease?

Parasitic worms cause heartworm disease. These worms reside and grow within the major blood vessels, heart, and lungs of cats and dogs. This disease is potentially fatal to pets. The worms get to the body by an infected mosquito which injects larvae into the bloodstream. All it takes is one mosquito bite. As the worms continue to multiply and grow, the organs they inhabit become blocked, leading to damage. The damage and blockage add stress levels and blood pressure within the organs which can lead to serious health problems for your pets.

Is It True Cats Do Not Get Affected As Much as Dogs?

As mentioned earlier, cats can get heartworm disease just like dogs. It is a popular belief that cats do not get affected as much by the disease compared to dogs. The reason behind this notion is cats tend to have fewer adult heartworms when infected, therefore, showing fewer symptoms. Despite this, the infection is still serious and can be fatal if not attended to.

How to Prevent Heartworm Disease

All pets are at risk for heartworm infection, even indoor-only pets. The only successful way to prevent heartworm disease is through preventative medicine. Ensure that all your pet friends are on either topical or oral preventative medications. Just like humans, every pet is different. You want to talk to your vet about which option is best for your pets.

Other ways you can prevent heartworm disease include:

  • Remove any stagnant water around your home. Mosquitoes thrive on surfaces of stagnant water, even as little as one inch of standing water. You can control the population of mosquitoes around your house by draining water from empty flower pots. Ensure you skim your pool daily and aerate the water in your birdbath.
  • Use mosquito repellents. Bug sprays designed for humans cannot be used on animals. Most mosquito repellents contain chemicals that can be harmful to pets. Be sure to talk to your vet about which product to use. It is also advisable to use heartworm protective products together with recommended repellents.
  • Make your compound uninviting for mosquitoes. Mosquitoes often find cool places to hide like overgrown grass and piles of leaves and twigs. Clear any piles of vegetation around your home to reduce the number of places mosquitoes can lay their eggs.

At Sherlock Bones Animal hospital, we are the leading veterinary facility in Carmel and Northside Indianapolis. Our services include pet grooming, wellness, and health care. For more information about heartworm disease or if you need to inquire about our services, visit us at our offices in Carmel, Indiana. To book for an appointment, call 317-428-2530 today!

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