Heartworm Prevention Recommended Year Round
Being a Midwest native, one very common thing I hear in exam rooms is, “Why should I give heartworm preventatives in the winter? There are no mosquitoes!”. According to the American Heartworm Society, individual vet clinics in Madison diagnosed an average of 6-25 cases of heartworm disease in 2016 alone. But why does this matter? Heartworm disease is a very serious and potentially fatal condition where blood borne worms (Dirofilaria immitis) live in the heart, lungs, and blood vessels of pets. These parasites can be up to a foot long, and one dog can be infected with up to 300 worms at one time. As you can imagine, this can lead to clogging of the heart and interfering with heart valves.