Does Arizona have Heartworms?
Yes! We do!
Canine heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal disease that is spread by mosquitoes. When the mosquito bites the dog it ingests a microscopic, immature form of heartworm, called microfilaria. The microfilaria develops into young, infective larvae that are transmitted to another dog when that mosquito bites another dog. Therefore, heartworm disease is more prevalent in areas where mosquitoes are numerous – such as near lakes, golf course, swimming pools. In Arizona, with the addition of such water areas, there has been an increase in cases of heartworm.
disease can lead to congestive heart failure and death.
Diagnosis: There is a simple blood test we perform to detect the heartworm larvae after they have been in the dog’s body for at least six months.
Treatment: Infected dogs can be successfully treated for heartworm disease, especially if detected early. The treatment is to kill the adult worms with a series of injections while the pet is hospitalized.
After all adult worms are eliminated, as noted by repeat blood tests, a second drug is used to eliminate the microfilaria and is used as a preventive. Can be very costly! Repeated veterinary visits for several months, repeated radiographs and blood tests.
Prevention: It is easier, less expensice and safer to prevent heartworm disease than it is to treat it. Most preventive medications are given orally on a monthly basis.
Please consult with your regular Veterinarian if your pet is not currently taking a preventative and get him tested and started on a monthly program.
Please ask your Veterinarian for his/her recommended brand of
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