Heartworm disease is a potentially fatal disease spread by mosquitos. While not as common in Pennsylvania as it is in southern states like Florida, Mississippi and the Carolinas, widespread adoption from across the country can bring heartworm positive dogs into our area making all dogs at risk. Heartworm disease has been diagnosed in all 50 states.
If a mosquito bites an infected dog, it can pick up heartworm larvae. If that mosquito then bites your dog, the mosquito can inject the microscopic larvae called microfilariae into the bloodstream. In an unprotected dog, microfilariae will mature into adult heartworms inside the heart and pulmonary arteries in about seven months. Adult worms can grow to be more than a foot in length and cause serious damage to the heart and lungs. Untreated heartworm disease may result in chronic heart and lung disease which may progress to congestive heart failure and death.
Heartworm disease is simple to prevent, but it can be costly and sometimes risky to treat. A monthly chewable tablet such as Sentinel protects your dog against heartworm disease as well as other parasites like roundworms, hookworms and whipworms. Easy to use, safe for your pet and affordable, this is the preferred product at PVH for preventing heartworm infection in dogs. If monthly chewables aren’t your thing, we also have Proheart 6 given as an injection under the skin every six months at our office to provide year round heartworm protection.
Why risk such a serious illness for your dog when it can be so easily prevented with a monthly or twice yearly medication? Ask us about heartworm protection for your dog today.