Mosquitos are the only source of transmittable carriers with the ability to spread heartworm disease. However, infected mosquitos are rampant and now are in every state throughout our country. Florida, of course, has a very high rate of the mosquito population. Year round, we have an influx of mosquitos.
How are mosquitos infected?
Unfortunately, many coyotes, wolves, foxes and other wildlife are carriers of heartworms, and once a mosquito bites them, the heartworms larvae called microfilariae immediately infect the mosquito. When a mosquito bites a cat, dog or ferret, the microfilariae implants into the pet that is unprotected.
From there, the larvae will begin to grow, and within a few months time, the mature heartworms rapidly reproduce and embed themselves into the lungs, heart and blood supply.
Infected pets can have over 200 worms that are up to a foot long. Prevention is easy; your veterinarian can provide heartworm prevention in the form of pills, topicals, and injectables. Heartworm prevention also assists with averting other parasitic worms like hookworms and tapeworms.
If left untreated, it is extremely likely that your pet will die, or suffer unpleasant circumstances for the remainder of its life. The medication used to kill heartworms is very expensive, extremely dangerous, and can produce unpleasant side effects for your pet. The treatment is an arsenic-based injectable, and animals must be kept in a crate or barricaded in a small area for months to avoid any exercise after treatment. The medication that kills the worm can cause blockages in the lungs and the pulmonary airway. If your pet is exerting themselves while playing or exercising, it can cause imminent death.
With the prevention so readily available and cost-effective, you shouldn’t think twice about protecting your dearly beloved pets from the harrowing probability of heartworm disease. To find out more, please call your veterinarian today.
Best Friends Animal Hospital
Best Friends Animal Hospital believes in providing quality health care for your pet in a warm and welcoming environment. Their doctors routinely attend educational seminars in order to stay abreast of the latest medical treatments and technologies. Their hospital also prides itself on having state-of-the-art equipment including a digital X-ray machine and surgical laser, both of which are used in human medicine. The digital X-ray machine allows them to take high-quality radiographs in seconds and gives their doctors images with better diagnostic quality, and the surgical laser helps to decrease pain and bleeding as well as increase healing speed of the incision.
Best Friends Animal Hospital offers free 24-hour access to your pet’s medical record through a pet portal, as well as home delivery of your pet’s prescriptions through an online store. Their online Pharmacy carries prescription medications, heartworm, flea and tick preventative, pet food, treats, and toys.
The doctors and staff are devoted to helping your pets’ live longer, healthier and happier lives because they understand what an important member of your family your pet. Their knowledgeable staff is available to answer any questions you may have, and they look forward to seeing you and your pet(s) soon. Please visit their website to find out more, or call them to book your appointment.
Best Friends Animal Hospital
12220 Towne Lake Dr., Suite 50
Fort Myers, FL 33913