Why We Need to Talk About Heartworms
By Cesar Millan
Heartworms! I know it is not everyone’s favorite topic, especially around breakfast, but it is very important to talk about heartworms and learn how your dog can get infected. It is also important to understand what heartworms can do to the health of your pet.
Many pet owners believe that a dog can get heartworms by coming in contact with an infected dog or picking up the worms from the environment, but this is simply not the case. The only way your dog can get heartworms is from a mosquito bite. It does not matter if your dog is the outdoor type or a pampered indoor yorkie- all dogs are at risk of getting heartworms.
The mosquito deposits the heartworm larvae on the dog and the worms start a 3 month migration to the heart and lungs. The larvae grow into adult worms and damage the arteries in the lungs. It may take time for the clinical signs, such as exercise intolerance or coughing to appear. Heartworms can be potentially fatal to your dog.
The good news is that you can prevent heartworm disease in your dog by giving them a monthly preventive year round, as recommended by the American Heartworm Society. Remember, April is Heartworm Awareness Month. Your dog is counting on you. If you care, be aware!
Stay calm and assertive,