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Heartworm risk map and how to protect your pets

Posted by Jennifer on June 19th, 2013


Is your pet at risk for heartworm disease?  The scary truth is, quite possibly. There are a lot of myths surrounding this silent killer and one of the most widespread is that heartworm disease is only an issue for pets in the southern states, only during the summer months, or only when there are a lot of mosquitos. Those notions are dangerous for pets, according to the American Heartworm Society veterinarians. Unprotected pets are at risk of contracting heartworm, which can can be painful, difficult and expensive to treat, and can even be fatal. In almost all areas of the US, both dogs and cats should be protected from heartworm 12 months a year. (There are zero approved treatments for heartworm in cats, prevention is the only option.) It takes approximately 6 months after being bitten by an infected mosquito for a dog to test positive for heartworms. It only takes 1 bite from an infected mosquito to spread heartworm disease to a pet. Heartworm can strike anywhere infected mosquitos are. Check out the incident map image above, or head on over to our friends PetParents where you can see a larger version of this map, as well as other maps with parasite prevalence. If you’d like to learn more about heartworm and how you can help protect your pets, here are some short and informative videos about Heartworm and protecting your dog and your cat. The good news is protecting your pets against heartworm is easy! Talk to your veterinarian about how to start.

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