No matter where you live, your pet is not safe from this deadly parasite

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It’s more important than ever to protect your pets from heartworm year-round, no matter where you live. The American Heartworm Society recently released its 2010 Heartworm Incidence Survey, which reports that pets have been diagnosed with heartworm in every state in the U.S. — and almost every county and parish.

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Meet heartworm-free Susie at Forte Animal Rescue in Marina del Rey, CA.

“There was a time when vets in areas where mosquitoes disappear for six
or more months a year — places such as New England, the mountains of
the West, and the Northern tier states, for example — recommended
six-month, summer-only schedules of preventive [heartworm] meds,” Sharon Peters writes in USA Today.

But now it’s crucial to keep your pet protected year-round, no matter where you live, from this deadly parasite spread by mosquitos.

As Peters reports, the AHS recommends year-round heartworm prevention because:

  • Mosquitoes can pop up at unexpected times of year — especially since many regions are seeing warm weather earlier in the spring and later in the fall than before.
  • Warmer micro-climates can keep mosquitoes alive — even in cold areas.
  • Many pet parents now vacation with their pets — often to mosquito-friendly locales.

Why prevent heartworm?
Heartworm can infect a cat or dog with a single mosquito bite. Treatment for dogs takes a long time, requires the dog to strictly limit exercise and can cost $1,000 or more. There is no cure for heartworm in cats. (Learn more in the video below.)

Luckily, prevention is easy — a monthly medication in the from of a tasty chewable treat for your cat or dog typically costs $100 or less per year. So be sure
to ask your vet about putting your dog (and cat!) on a heartworm
preventive year-round.

Steve Dale talks with former AHS president Dr. Shelly Rubin about heartworm prevention and treatment in dogs and cats.


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You might also like:

Article: Heartworm: An Introduction

Article: Heartworm Life Cycle

Article: How Heartworm Is Treated

Article: Three Misconceptions About Heartworm

More on heartworm and pets:

American Heartworm Society: AHS Announces Findings of 2010 Heartworm Incidence Survey

American Heartworm Society: Feline Heartworm Disease

Steve Dale’s Pet World: The Importance of Effective Heartworm Preventative

USA Today: Pet Talk: Heartworm Prevention Needed Now More Than Ever

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