Why do dogs need to receive preventive heartworm and flea treatments all year long?
Veterinarians discovered many years ago that we can keep our pets healthier if we do everything we can to prevent disease. Heartworm disease is one of those diseases where there are highly effective and safe preventives. Although we can treat this disease successfully in many dogs, the disease can be debilitating and the treatment is long, difficult for the pet and expensive for the owner. Heartworms are spread by mosquitoes and develop whenever the ambient temperature is warm enough for them. Where I practice in Virginia, it is not unusual to find mosquitoes periodically during the winter months when temperatures are temporarily warm. Usually we only give heartworm preventives once a month. Since mosquitoes are unpredictable, it is necessary in many parts of the United States to give the medication all year long to be certain our pets are protected. Fleas are the most common parasite of companion animals and they cause the most common skin disease of pets, Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD