These past few months the weather has been crazy. From hot and dry to hot and wet and now a few cool nights. I have come to realize, after sitting outside this past weekend or at least trying to but not able due to the mosquito population trying to feast on me, that the hot rainy weather we have had lately has caused a large increase in the mosquitos. There are many diseases carried by these creatures but the one of most concern to our dog friends is heartworms.

The larva of the heartworm is ingested by the mosquito and then injected into our beloved pets by the mosquito when it feeds. The larva then migrate to the heart where they stay and grow into adults causing heart and lung disease. We can preform a simple blood test to determine if your pet has been infected. If the test is positive then treatment is available. If the test is negative, which we hope, there are many options for prevention both oral and topical. Treatment for the disease can be hard on your pet as well as costly for you so our best recommendation is prevention. Even though you may keep your pet on a preventive treatment every month it is still recommended to have a yearly test on your pet to make sure it is working properly. There have been a few cases of resistance around the Mississippi river areas and has been spreading slowly outward from there. Although prevention is not always 100% it is the best thing we can do to help keep your beloved pet healthy.

Dr. Amy Hastings

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