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Heartworm Prevention explained by your Welland Veterinarian

April 16, 2012

Heartworm disease is a very serious disease that affects our pets in the Niagara Region.  Heartworm disease is transmitted when a dog or cat is bitten by an infected mosquitoe. Our veterinarians at the Main West Animal Hospital in Welland typically see heartworm disease in dogs but it can also affect cats although it is quite unusual to do so.

Heartworm disease can be a silent killer of dogs as there are usually few clinical signs until more advanced stages of the disease.  Treatment options are available for dogs that have heartworm disease but the treatment can be dangerous and expensive with significant risks involved.

A much safer option is to focus on prevention of the disease rather than trying to treat it after infection. In order to keep your dog safe they should be on heartworm medication from May 1st until December 1st each year.  Medication is given at the first day of each month for a total of eight (8) doses.  Our animal hospital provides medication to help prevent this serious disease in a variety of convientient forms.  We have oral and topical (drops on the skin) products that are easy to administer.  These medications have the added benefit of protection from fleas and intestinal worms to keep your dog and family safe.

If you have a dog and live in Welland, Port Colborne, Fonthill, Pelham, Fenwick or the Niagara Region in general you need to be concerned about heartworm disease.  It only takes a bite from a single infected mosquito to develop this disease.  If left untreated the disease is often fatal.  Contact the Main West Animal Hospital in Welland today to get your pet started on preventative medication.  Our veterinarians and staff would be more than happy to discuss the best options to protect your dog this summer.