By: Dr. Bronwyn Chisholm
Heartworm is a nasty parasite that is transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito. In our climate and location the season of concern is June 1st-Nov. 1st.
Both dogs and cats can be infected with this worm, and while dogs are more susceptible to infection, cats’ small size means that even a single worm can cause significant illness and even death.
Our pets are infected when a heartworm-positive mosquito bites them and injects the tiny heartworm larvae into their body. These tiny worms then travel through the small blood vessels, heading to the heart. It can take 6 months to reach the heart, where as adults they grow large and numerous enough to block the main vessels leading out of the heart.
Although heartworm is complex, risky and expensive to treat, we can prevent serious infection easily: Monthly chews such as Heartgard, or a combination tick/heartworm prevention such as Nexgard Spectra, kill any heartworm larvae that our pets may have been infected with in the previous month, before they become more mature and the worms are no longer susceptible to the monthly preventatives.
So for all dogs, and any cats that spend time outdoors, we recommend having them on a heartworm prevention starting June 1st, with the final dose on Nov. 1st.
June 1st is the last day to take advantage of our spring promo!
Pet of the Month:
The Perfect Storm
A cross between a Great Dane and a Mastiff, at 86kg (189lb), Storm is an impressive boy!
Great Dane’s are known for their friendliness and devotion to their owners, while Mastiffs are courageous gentle giants. Neither breed is a push-over, and if they feel their family is threatened, they will devotedly step up to protect them. And a dog of this size makes a formidable opponent! It is a good thing Storm is so lovely and has such wonderful owners helping him grow into a chipper, happy guy!