Sex and the Single Heartworm Prevention News That Could Save Your Dog

by Mary Haight on April 25, 2014

heartworm prevention newsHeartworm prevention news can be a lifesaver — if you happen to hear it, you don’t ignore it, and it comes from a competent source. Some get news they think is timely, and it turns out the article, while written by a trusted or expert source, is actually many years out of date. Changes in nature are often subtle and go unnoticed until suddenly an event brings them to our attention. Changes in heartworm disease incidence are similar.

What’s Changed in Heartw0rm Prevention Practices?

Questions asked by readers

  1. Why is heartworm being prescribed in my area? We’ve never had to use preventives here.
  2. How safe is this for my senior dog, breed of dog, sick dog?
  3. Why might it be important to buy preventives from your animal hospital — I didn’t know this one either!
  4. What’s happening with news on heartworm resistance to the preventives
  5. Are there holistic or natural approaches to heartworm disease?
  6. Why do I have to test every year when my dog is now on preventives year round?

The answers to these questions, and more, are on the quick 10-minute podcast below with Dr Apryl Steele, National SpokesVet for Partners for Healthy Pets.

Sex and Heartworms

Once a dog is infected with heartworm, the parasites spend their time growing, eating and having sex — you could think of them as the George Costanzas of their world. Heartworms are very good at having offspring, and can live up to 7 years if the dog lives that long. Their larvae can circulate in the blood for several years after the adults have died and up to 250 heartworms can live in a dog.

If caught early, larvae can be killed with treatment. This avoids the dangers, pain, and even death associated with an infestation. Once larvae get to the adolescent stage, preventives won’t work. That’s a narrow window of opportunity.

Do you treat for heartworm in your area, and if not, how did you come to that decision?

Enjoy the heartworm prevention news Dr. Steele presents, and if you have questions you know what to do =)

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