April 21st
How To Prevent Heartworm Disease

As the temperature gets warmer, the danger of pets getting heartworm disease is higher too. April is National Heartworm Awareness Month, and we would like to share some tips on keeping your pet safe from this potentially fatal but highly preventable disease.

What is heartworm disease?

Heartworm disease is a serious condition that affects animals, particularly dogs and cats. The disease is caused by a parasitic worm called Dirofilaria Immitis, which is transmitted by mosquitoes and is most prevalent in warm and humid climates. 

Heartworms are foot-long worms that live in the hearts, lungs, or blood vessels of animals. Heartworm disease in pets causes severe lung disease, heart failure or even damage to other organs. It can infect dogs, cats, and other animals.

The disease is also known as a silent killer, especially for dogs and cats.

How does an animal get infected?

When a mosquito bites an infected animal, it picks up the microscopic heartworm larvae along with its blood meal. The larvae then develop within the mosquito for about two weeks and become infective, meaning that they can be transmitted to a new host when the mosquito bites again. Once inside the new host’s body, the larvae migrate to the heart and lungs, where they grow into long, thin worms that can cause severe damage.


Heartworm disease is diagnosed through a blood test that detects the presence of adult worms or their larvae in the animal’s bloodstream. Treatment for the disease typically involves a series of injections to kill the adult worms, and medication to help manage symptoms and prevent further infection.

How can it be prevented?

Heartworm disease can be safely and easily prevented using a monthly heartworm preventative medication. There are several preventative measures that pet owners can take, including giving their animals monthly heartworm medication, using mosquito nets or repellents to keep mosquitoes away, and keeping pets indoors during peak mosquito activity times. Regular veterinary checkups are also essential. As early detection can help prevent serious complications from the disease.