The family dog is the only one willing to fetch your slippers for you. He is also the one who is always glad to see you at the end of the day. No matter the circumstances or how bad of a day you have had, your dog is always the one awaiting your return with a sparkle in his eye and a wagging tail. Our dogs just make us happy. Whether you have a dog that is a watch dog or a couch potato they are a beloved member of our families. Your dog is always looking out for your best interests. Whether they are alerting us of a visitor, a rodent that is not welcome in the home or alerting of us danger. Shouldn’t we keep their best interests in mind the way they do ours? Dogs provide us with so much and ask for so little in return. It is crucial that we protect our pets as best we can when it comes to insects, parasites, and most importantly against heartworms.
Most people don’t realize that heartworms actually come from mosquitoes. Unlike many other worms dogs can contract, heartworms are spread solely by infected mosquitoes. Heartworm disease has been reported in all fifty states. It only takes one bite to give your dog heartworm disease. Heartworm disease is easy to prevent and costly and difficult to cure, in some cases the cure is not effective and even with treatment the disease can be fatal.
Heartworm disease is a specific parasite that only infects dogs, cats, ferrets and other small mammals. Very rare cases of humans contracting heartworms have been reported, although in these cases the heartworm did not complete the life cycle. Once an infected mosquito has bitten the dog it takes about seven months for the heartworm larvae to mature into an adult heartworm. The adult heartworm then lodges in the heart, lungs and blood vessels and begins to reproduce. An adult heartworm can live up to seven years in your dog and can grow up to a foot long. Some infected dogs can have hundreds in their systems.
This disease is highly preventable. There are a wide variety of heartworm preventative available from your veterinarian. There are tablets, topicals and even injectable preventatives that are very inexpensive and easy to use. You and your dog’s veterinarian should decide which preventative is best for you and your dog. Since no preventative offers 100% protection, there are also safeguards to take at home to prevent heartworm disease from infecting your dog.
Keeping the area around your home tidy and free of dead brush and standing water is a good preventative. This is a common sense checklist to go over routinely throughout the mosquito active months that will ensure you and your dog get fewer mosquito bites. Contacting a licensed professional to apply a barrier spray is an excellent preventative tool to discourage mosquito activity in your lawn. Your local Mosquito Squad technician can meet with you to plan a mosquito free season for you and man’s best friend. Contact Mosquito squad today to make you and your pooch happy.