Heartworm infection is a problem that affects many pets around the country. It is important to understand more about heartworm prevention so that you can keep your dog healthy. The American Heartworm Society recommends all-year prevention for every dog.
Annual heartworm testing is also recommended for dog health. While learning about heartworm disease, it is important to be able to separate the truth from the myths that abound. The following are some myths that need to be debunked.
Myth 1: Heartworm prevention is only necessary for summer
Many people believe that the only time when heartworm preventive measures should be taken is during summer or when mosquitoes are active. The truth is that prevention measures are necessary all year round. The AHS recommends that heartworm prevention programs be implemented for all dogs, even those in areas that are dry and even during cold winters.
Myth 2: Infected dogs can transmit the disease to other pets
There are people who believe that dogs infected with heartworm diseases should be kept away from other pets. This separation is seen as a way to prevent disease transmission. The truth is that infected dogs do not transmit the disease to other pets or to people. The only way that your pet can get the disease is by being bitten by a mosquito carrying the infective heartworm larvae. It is, however, true that dogs infected with microfilaria can be a source of infection through mosquito bite transmission.
Myth 3: You will know immediately if your pet has heartworms
Some pet owners think that they can detect heartworm disease in their dogs right away. The truth is that signs of heartworm disease are often difficult to detect especially early on. Dogs, especially those that do not exercise much, do not show signs of recent infection. In cats, the signs can actually be misleading, as they tend to be similar to symptoms of other feline diseases. The disease is often misdiagnosed or confused with asthma.
Myth 4: Heartworm disease is always easy to treat.
There is a common myth that the disease is easy to treat in most pets. The truth is that treating heartworm disease is multifaceted and it can take several months to complete. In some cases, the treatment can involve severe complications and it can end up being very expensive. Heartworm prevention is essential to keep your pet healthy.
Myth 5: Dogs are born with natural immunity to heartworms
The truth is that your precious puppy is just as vulnerable to heartworms as older dogs. Dogs can become infected at any age if they are bitten by a mosquito that is carrying the infective larvae. This means that nursing puppies are also in danger and it is important to start heartworm prevention early enough. Follow the instructions on the product label for effective results.
There are other myths out there but knowing the truth will help you to keep your pet safe and healthy. Note that the disease does not affect dogs and cats the same way and there is no vaccine to prevent heartworm disease. You can visit us if you want to get more information about heartworm disease.