FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

A Word From... Dr. C.A. Heller III DVM

Heartworm Disease

The days are getting longer and warmer and with the warmer temperatures comes an increased threat of heartworms. Heartworms are a blood borne parasite that target dogs. Cats are more resistant, but can still become infected.

HOW DO PETS GET HEARTWORMS?

The vector that spreads this disease from one pet to another is the humble mosquito. An infected individual has adult heartworms living inside its heart. When these adults reproduce, the microscopic, baby heartworms circulate in the bloodstream. When a mosquito feeds on an infected individual, they consume some of these baby heartworms. Then this mosquito flies away and feeds on an un-infected individual. In the process of feeding, the baby heartworms are injected under the skin. Over the next six months, these baby heartworms migrate to and penetrate the vascular system. They then travel to the heart and the life cycle begins again.

HOW CAN YOU PROTECT YOUR PET?

There are numerous once a month chewable and topical medications that will prevent the baby heartworms. There is even an injectable product for dogs that is effective for six months. Cats can use one of the monthly topical products. This is very important if your cat spends time outside.

It is much easier and less expensive to prevent heartworm disease than it is to treat it. It is even more important to prevent it in cats as there is no effective treatment for cats at this time.

Ask your veterinarian how to best prevent your pet from getting heartworms.

Have a great summer!

Sincerely,

C.A. Heller III, DVM
Animal Care Clinic

Contact Us

Telephone
(330)453-5529
Mailing Address
P.O. Box 7077, Canton, Ohio 44705
Shelter Address
5100 Peach Street, Louisville, Ohio 44641
E-Mail Address
info@starkhumane.org