stranger dangerThere is a group of strangers in your neighborhood up to no good. All year long, they go around preying on innocent pets like yours.

Flying Strangers. A mosquito becomes a carrier for heartworms when she bites an infected animal. As she draws out blood, she also draws out microfilaria or infective larvae. She’s the intermediate host that the microfilaria need. With the mosquito’s next bite, she injects the slightly matured larvae into the next animal…
Four Legged Strangers. Coyotes, foxes, and dogs are the most common heartworm carriers. Believe it or not, one of these animals can carry hundreds of heartworms. Plus, each time a mosquito bites an infected animal, it draws out more larvae, so the cycle continues.

Invisible Strangers. Remember, Microfilaria are the larvae for heartworms, and they move from stage to stage until they mature into sexually active adults. The process takes several months, and until that point, they are hard to detect. Once they are mature, the worms live for years, and as they grow (up to one foot long!), they begin to prevent blood flow to major organs, especially the heart and lungs.

Protection from Strangers. You can keep the stranger danger at bay simply by giving your dog or cat heartworm prevention each month. For dogs, we carry Trifexis and Sentinel and offer the Proheart6 injection as well. For cats, we only recommend Revolution. We also recommend that you have your pet tested annually for heartworms. When caught early, we can often treat the heartworms, but the process is risky. That’s why regular preventive medicines are so crucial to your pet’s health.

Don’t Be a Stranger. If you have questions, let’s schedule a time to talk about heartworms. We’ll test your dog or cat, and get you on the best prevention for your unique needs.

PS It’s a whole different subject, but if you’re worried about the two legged kind of strangers, we microchip. You can call and talk to us about that, too!