Mosquitoes are everywhere, and it only takes a single bite from an infected mosquito for your pet to get heartworm disease. Sadly, one in 200 dogs have been discovered to test positive for this condition each year. Heartworm disease is not only costly to treat, but the treatment can be painful for your dog too. Without treatment, the disease can be fatal. Here are the benefits of heartworm preventives:
- The oral and topical prescription medicines protect your animal companion from heartworm infection.
- The preventives are effective in treating scattering microfilariae or baby heartworms.
- The preventives are capable of getting rid of adult fleas.
- The preventives can also treat and manage other parasites like roundworms, whipworms, and hookworms.
- The preventives can treat and manage sarcoptic mange or dog scabies.
- Although costly, the preventives are safe and easy to administer.
- Early heartworm preventive medicines can save your pet from any severe illness.
- Heartworm prevention can help enhance your dog’s life span and spare them from suffering.
How Does Heartworm Prevention Work?
The American Heartworm Society highly recommends that all dogs receive year-long protection from heartworm infection. Prevention is not a complicated process. In fact, it usually involves blood testing, preventative-based medicines, and efforts to lower your pet’s exposure to mosquitos.
The medications are generally available in shots, tablets, or topical liquid form. It’s formulated to kill the heartworm larvae within Fido’s bloodstream monthly as administered. By establishing the practice of heartworm prevention every month, you can significantly reduce your dog’s risk of infection.
Only heartworm preventives approved by the Food and Drug Administration can be effective at deterring heartworms. Besides these medications, your veterinarian can also recommend several drug-free strategies. This way, you can avoid bites from infected mosquitoes. Here’s how you can limit mosquito exposure:
- Keep your dog indoors overnight. If possible, avoid walks during dawn or dusk as these are the times of the day that many mosquitoes feed.
- Use magnetic screen doors for your outside doors. These can help keep mosquitoes from entering and finding their next meal. These barriers work as a first line of defense to protect your indoor pet.
- Mosquitoes breed in standing water. Ensure that you eliminate any breeding grounds close to your home. It could be anything from a puddle, a birdbath, or an empty pail or pot. Mosquitoes may be able to fly a mile or farther. But it’s common for these insects to stay within just a few hundreds of feet away from where they hatch. By getting rid of standing water, you can lessen the number of mosquitoes in your pet’s environment.
- Another way to avoid exposure is to use natural mosquito repellents. If you want to keep mosquitoes from infecting your pet, you can try herbs like wormwood, mugwort, and turmeric root, among others. Certain natural ingredients like lemon eucalyptus essential oil are also safe for dogs. You can make a homemade bug spray with this along with witch hazel.
Do you want to ensure a healthy and hassle-free life for your beloved furball? It’s crucial that you take your dog to the vet for periodic veterinary exams. At Country Veterinary Clinic, Inc., we can work with you to identify the best prevention and management plan to keep your pet safe and healthy. Call our office today in Live Oak, California, to schedule your consultation.