Preventing Heartworms–Even During the Winter

We’ve talked before about the importance of maintaining your dog’s heartworm preventative all year, even during the winter months. As we’ve told you, one year we missed one dosage of heartworm preventative in January and our dog Yoda contracted heartworms.

The danger that kind of mistake can put your dog in…along with the worry, guilt, and expense you can face for that kind of mistake…makes it vitally important that you keep that heartworm preventative going even when the weather cools.

The American Heartworm Society (AHS) has created a new video emphasizing that this deadly disease is easy to prevent—but that pet owners need to understand the importance of year-round protection and the importance of prevention.

“Heartworm is endemic in many parts of the United States, due to conditions that favor the proliferation of mosquitoes that carry the disease and the high reservoirs of animals carrying heartworm larvae,” says AHS president Wallace Graham, DVM. Meanwhile, he adds, the mosquitoes that carry heartworm disease breed in standing water, and late-summer weather events such as hurricanes and heavy storms have left plenty of standing water in their wake.

Here are some important facts from AHS:

  • Heartworm is everywhere. According to a nationwide survey of more than 5,000 veterinary hospitals conducted by AHS in 2010, heartworm was confirmed in all 50 states.
  • Treatment is not a “fallback.” While heartworm disease in dogs can usually be treated, veterinarians have limited medication supplies, the treatment carries risks (careful monitoring and cage confinement are required for a month or more) and treatment can cost as much as $1,000. Meanwhile, there is no effective medication for treating cats with heartworm disease.

For more information:

Photo courtesy American Heartworm Society; © Ryan Graham

From Our Store!

About Paris Permenter & John Bigley

Paris Permenter and John Bigley are the award-winning authors of over 30 pet and travel books as well as the founders and publishers of CatTipper and DogTipper.

  • Theresa

    Heartworms are so scary! Thankfully while we still medicate our pets for them in Utah they are not near as common as they are in other parts of the country.

  • Our heartworm season is from June to November up here in southern Ontario, Canada. There are no mosquitoes up here during our deep freezes all winter long.