What is heartworm disease?

Heartworm in animals is just that – a worm that can go to the animal’s heart and, if left untreated, can kill the animal. In some cases, these worms can migrate to other organs including the kidneys, lungs, and liver.

Where does heartworm disease come from?

Heartworm is transmitted to an animal by mosquitoes. Upon biting the animal, the mosquito-borne larval heartworm, microfilariae, goes through four stages of development ending up in pulmonary artery.

Can heartworms be spread to cats?

Yes, it can; but it is much less common in cats than it is in dogs.

Can heartworms be prevented?

Yes; there are many products on the market to prevent heartworm in dogs. Most are recommended to be administered monthly. Discuss preventative options with your veterinarian and be sure to keep your pets on preventative. In Florida, the chances of your pet getting heartworm disease without prevention is high, especially for outdoor pets.

Do animals have to be given the heartworm preventative all year long?

Yes, especially in warmer climates. InĀ Florida, it is recommended year round to prevent any breaks in protection.

Can a dog be treated for heartworms and recover?

Yes, a dog can recover from heartworm disease, however, it is costly to provide treatment for this; estimated at $400 – $1,000 making the preventative costs mustĀ cheaper in the long run.

For more information, visit our partners at Best Friends Animal Society here.