Heartworm Protection

As winter comes, pet parents start to believe that their beloved pets are safe from most parasitic problems. The majority of fleas, ticks, mites, and mosquitoes go dormant as the temperature falls. However, that doesn’t mean your pet no longer needs protection.

One of the essential reasons dogs need to be protected year-round is these parasites can cause discomfort and harm our pets at any time of the year. While mosquitos may be less active in colder weather, they can still survive indoors and transmit the heartworm larvae to dogs during winters. Therefore, it’s crucial to maintain continuous protection and ensure our dog’s health and well-being throughout the year.

This blog will discuss five reasons your pet needs year-round protection from heartworms.

Overview of Heartworm Disease

Dogs are susceptible to various health issues, and heartworm disease is among the deadliest. Heartworm disease is caused by the transmission through mosquito bites. Heartworm larvae (Dirofilaria immitis) are passed into the bloodstream when an infected mosquito bites your healthy dog. Then, the larvae mature into adult worms in six months and reside in the heart and lungs, causing heartworm disease.

The adult heartworms then reproduce and release their offspring into the dog’s bloodstream. If left untreated, heartworm disease can lead to severe damage to the heart, lungs, and other organs in the dog’s body. It can cause symptoms such as coughing, difficulty breathing, fatigue, and weight loss. Additionally, heartworm disease can be fatal if not treated promptly. Adult heartworms are challenging to treat and require a long and expensive treatment process.

5 Reasons to Give Year-Round Heartworm Protection to Your Dogs

Reason 1 of 5: Mosquitoes Are Now Year-Round Threat

mosquitoes Are Now Year-round Threat

If you think winter is around the corner and now you don’t have to worry about heartworms, think again. Mosquitoes, the carriers of heartworm disease, can still be active during the winter season in some regions. In fact, according to a study conducted in Australia, some mosquito species are active all year regardless of the season and the region.

Female mosquitoes can live up to 5 months with adequate food supply. So, if a mosquito is born during early winter, it won’t perish and may transmit the microfilaria larvae to your dog. When you start the heartworm treatment again after 5 long months, it will probably be late as microfilaria larvae will have developed into adult heartworms. Adult heartworms require extensive treatment and medical intervention. If you are okay with this, you can avoid year-round heartworm protection for your dog.

Reason 2 of 5: Heartworm Treatment is Painful for Dogs

If your dog is unprotected and contracts heartworm infection, the signs of infection are mostly only observed once the infection is severe when larvae develop into adult heartworms. Once the heartworm larvae are grown into adults, heartworm preventives will become ineffective, and proper medical treatment will be required.

Now, heartworm disease treatment involves the use of high doses of melarsomine, which is an arsenic derivative. Overdose of this drug can cause toxicity to your dog. Moreover, the treatment itself is painful for dogs. It requires complete bed rest for months till the treatment is completed. This means no running, exercise, or playtime for your dog, only rest. If you are okay with this, you can avoid year-round heartworm protection for your dog.

Reason 3 of 5: Heartworm Disease has High Prevalence

According to a study, approximately 10 out of 1800 dogs, most of which are household pets, get heartworm disease every year. This number may seem small, but it is important to note that heartworm disease can cause substantial harm to your beloved dog. If the infection is untreated, it can be fatal.

On the other hand, most heartworm preventives like HeartGard Plus and Nuheart only prevent heartworm disease when administered continuously. Without protection, your dog could be one of those 10. If you are okay with this, you can avoid year-round heartworm protection for your dog.

Reason 4 of 5: Treatment of Heartworm Disease is Costlier

While most pet parents don’t consider money over their pet’s health, it is essential to note that treating heartworm disease can be pretty expensive. The treatment of heartworm disease can cost anywhere between $1000 and $2500, depending on the severity of the condition. However, heartworm protection for a year costs roughly $100. And remember that the treatment will be stressful for your pet and you. If you are okay with this, you can avoid year-round heartworm protection for your dog.

Reason 5 of 5: Heartworm Disease is Preventable

Heartworm in dogs is completely preventable with effective preventive treatments and precautions. Various heartworm preventive treatments are available, including oral chews as well as topical solutions.

Heartworm Disease is Preventable

Take a look at some of the effective heartworm preventives available on the market:

With a heartworm preventive, you can protect your dog from the deadly disease. Mosquitos can only spread the disease after ingesting heartworm larvae from an infected dog. If you stop heartworm protection, you are risking your pet and someone else’s. If you are okay with this, you can avoid year-round heartworm protection for your dog.

Bottom Line – So, why must you protect your dog from heartworms?

  • Reason 1 – Mosquitoes are now a year-round threat
  • Reason 2 – Heartworm treatment is painful for dogs
  • Reason 3 – Heartworm disease has a high prevalence
  • Reason 4 – Treating heartworm disease can be costlier
  • Reason 5 – Heartworm disease is preventable

And of all the reasons to protect your buddy from heartworms is love. If you have a dog at home, you need no reason to protect your buddy than love. Heartworm protection can help keep your dogs the way they are – healthy, happy, and playful.