What is heartworm disease and why is the preventative medication recommended to be used year-round?
Heartworm disease is a parasitic condition caused by infestation with the worm dirofilaria immmitis. This parasite is spread from infected dogs through mosquito bites. Heartworm disease is prevalent in Wisconsin due to our location in the United States and our high mosquito population in the warmer months. Heartworm disease is found in many states through the United States; it is more prevalent in states that border the Mississippi river and in the Southeast. Due to the fact that mosquitoes are the carrier for this disease, all dogs are at risk for this disease regardless of lifestyle, including ‘indoor’ dogs, hunting dogs, and farm dogs. Heartworm disease can be treated, but the cost of the treatment is high and there is a risk to the patient even with successful treatment. Because of this, prevention of the disease is considered a better option for our canine family members. Prevention is done though the use of monthly preventatives that are given year-round. Year-round use of heartw