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National Heart Worm month is in April and for good reason. Heart Worms are transmitted to dogs by Mosquitoes, and mosquitoes thrive in humid weather. Here is a little bit about heart worms to help you under stand more.
The cycle of Heart worms
The cycle of Heart Worms starts when a mosquito bites an infected host and ingests microscopic heart worms known as microfilaria. The mosquito then goes to another host to feed and injects the microfilaria into the new host. The microfilaria then migrate through the skin and into the blood stream, where they make their way to the blood vessels between the heart and the lungs. There the microfilaria grow into adult hood.
How often should I test My dog for Heart worms?
Once an animal is bitten by in infected mosquito it takes up to 7 months for them to test positive on a heart worm test. The American Heart worm Society believes that since it takes so long for Heart worms to show up positive on a test, that dogs should be tested once a year. There has been several places in the south where there have been studies about resistance. Mosquitoes are becoming resistant to some of the Heart worm medications. Again that is why it is so important to get tested yearly.
What should i give my pet to keep the from getting Heart Worms?
There are several different medications that can be given to your pets that can prevent heart worms, there are chews, injections, tablets, and liquids that go on the back. The American Heart worm Society thinks that no medicine is 100% effective, and that pet owners get busy in their everyday life that they sometimes forget to give the monthly preventative. That is why it is recommended to test for Heart worms yearly.