As we welcome the arrival of Spring, it’s important to note that April marks Heart-worm Awareness Month. During this time, the risk of heart-worm transmission increases as mosquitos, the primary carriers of this deadly disease, become more prevalent. Shockingly, it’s estimated that over 1 million dogs in the United States alone are currently infected with heart-worms, making it one of the most pressing health concerns for canines in the country.

What Is Heartworm Disease?

Heartworm disease is caused by a parasitic worm called Dirofilaria immitis. The worm is transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito and can grow up to a foot long in the heart, lungs, and blood vessels of infected dogs. As the worms grow, they can cause serious damage to the heart and lungs, eventually leading to heart failure and death if left untreated.

All About Heartworm Prevention

Prevention is key when it comes to heart-worm disease. Fortunately, there are several options available to pet owners to protect their dogs. Monthly heart-worm preventatives are available in a variety of forms, including chewable tablets, topical applications, and injections. These medications work by killing the immature heart-worms before they can grow and cause damage to the heart and lungs.

There are several effective heartworm preventative medications for dogs available on the market. Some of the top options include:

  • Heartgard Plus: This is a monthly chewable tablet that is given to dogs to prevent heartworm disease. It also helps to control and treat roundworm and hookworm infections.
  • Sentinel Spectrum: This is a monthly chewable tablet that provides protection against heartworm, fleas, and other parasites, including roundworms, hookworms, and whipworms.
  • ProHeart 6: This medication is an injectable medication that provides six months of continuous protection against heartworms, as well as hookworms and roundworms. (It’s important to note that heartworm prevention shots are not recommended for all dogs and should only be administered after a thorough veterinary examination and consultation)
  • Revolution: This is a monthly topical medication that is applied to the skin and provides protection against heartworms, fleas, ticks, and several types of intestinal parasites.

It’s important to note that heartworm preventative medication should only be given to dogs under the guidance and supervision of a veterinarian. Your vet can help you determine which preventative medication is best for your dog based on factors such as their age, weight, and overall health.

Parasite Prevention For Pets In Richmond, Virginia

At Capital Home Veterinary Care, our experienced veterinarians can provide you with the guidance and care your dog needs to stay healthy and happy. We offer a range of preventative measures, including heart-worm testing, vaccinations, and monthly preventatives, to keep your dog safe. If your dog does become infected with heart-worms, we can provide you with the treatment and support you need to help them recover.

If you suspect that your dog may have heart-worms, or you have questions about what kind of preventative medicine your pet needs, we encourage you to give us a call, or to schedule an appointment for a wellness check today!