April is Heartworm Awareness & Prevent Lyme Disease In Dogs Month. These are two very important things to be aware of to help keep your pet healthy and protected. Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal disease in pets. When a mosquito bites and takes a blood meal from an infected animal it picks up microscopic baby worms called microfilaria. Then when the infected mosquito bites another animal like a dog or cat, it will transmit it to this animal. These then develop in the animal. Once heartworms develop, they can grow to be foot-long worms that live in the heart, lungs and associated blood vessels of affected pets, causing severe lung disease, heart failure and damage to other organs in the body.
Heartworm disease not only affects dogs and cats but can also live in other mammal species, including ferrets, coyotes, foxes, and more. It does not matter how thick your pet’s hair coat is. A mosquito can still penetrate skin. With coyotes on the rise in some suburban neighborhoods, heartworm disease can be found closer than we think. Some pet owners believe their pet is protected from mosquitoes because their pets spend the majority of time indoors. There are plenty of mosquitoes that fly in your home, and you may not be aware of since they are small and fast. Keeping your pet on a monthly heartworm preventative like Interceptor Plus or Revolution will help protect them. Also, Vectra 3D helps to repel mosquitoes.
Since it is also Prevent Lyme Disease In Dogs Month, we need to talk about how your dog can get Lyme Disease. Lyme disease is caused by a spiral-shaped microscopic organism, or spirochete, called Borrelia burgdorferi. This in the eastern black-legged tick, previously referred to as the deer tick and the Western black-legged tick, and can be transmitted when an infected tick feeds on a dog, person, or other mammal. These ticks are very small hide in shady, moist ground litter, but they can be found above ground, clinging to tall grass, brush, shrubs, and low tree branches. They also inhabit gardens and lawns.
One of the best ways to prevent your dogs from Lyme disease is by having them on a tick preventative. There are oral preventatives like Simparica and Bravecto and topicals like Vectra 3d and Revolution. Since people can also be infected by the same ticks that infect our dogs, it is recommended to keep them on a preventative monthly. If your dog goes on hikes or camping, ensure to to check their skin thoroughly for any ticks especially if you dog has thick hair. Signs of Lyme disease can be difficult to detect, and some warning signs may not appear until months after infection.
For the month of April we are offering $5 off all Heartworm Combo testing. This tests for heartworms and also tests for 4 tick diseases including Lyme. Call us today to schedule. (714)771-3261
Article by Susan A.