They’re annoying to say the least, and when they bite it can itch for days, but did you know that a mosquito bite can mean a much more serious problem in our furry friends?
Heartworm disease, a silent and nasty parasite, actually lives in the hearts of dogs and cats. Many people believe that because their pet doesn’t socialise with other pets they don’t have to worry about heartworm disease. The sad fact is that only a small mosquito can be the difference between your furry friend being heartworm-free and infected.
Once a disease carrying mosquito has bitten an infected animal the heartworm larva can then be transferred to another pet when bitten. When the heartworm grows to full maturity it can live in your pet’s heart for several years before it dies, causing your pet’s health to diminish significantly and dangerously. During infection heartworms can reproduce to hundreds if not treated.
Years can pass before you notice any symptoms in your pet, making it all the more important to keep prevention regular. If nothing is done to treat heartworms they can severely affect vital organs and cause chronic cough, shortness of breath, weakness, nervousness, listlessness, and loss of stamina. There can also be evidence of weight loss, poor condition, and anaemia.
The good news is that heartworm disease is easily prevented with inexpensive medications that are available here on PET GUARDIANS. If your pet has not been receiving heartworm prevention medication or yearly vaccinations it is important to visit your vet and have them tested before starting a new prevention treatment of any kind.