KNOW YOUR BREED: HEARTWORM AND DISEASE PREVENTION
by Nomi Berger
KNOW that Heartworm Disease is potentially terminal but preventable. One bite from a
single mosquito can cause an otherwise healthy dog to develop Heartworm Disease.
KNOW that a heartworm is a parasitic worm (Dirofilaria Immitis) that lives in the heart
and lungs of an affected dog. The worm’s larvae travel from the mosquito’s bite through
the bloodstream and damage arteries and vital organs as they go, arriving at the lungs
and heart approximately six months after that initial mosquito bite. Several HUNDRED
worms can live in a single dog up to seven years, and left untreated, can prove deadly.
KNOW that the best protection against this insidious disease is prevention. Heartworm
prevention is both safe and effective. Treating the disease itself is complicated, costly
and can, like the disease, have serious, even fatal effects on the afflicted dog.
Preventatives work by killing the heartworm larvae before they can grow into adult
heartworms and infest your dog. Although a variety of preventives are available to pet
owners, the first step is to visit your vet.
KNOW that most vets recommend YEARLY TESTING for heartworms in dogs older than
six months. If your dog is heartworm negative (does not have heartworm larvae in its
bloodstream), inexpensive heartworm preventatives are available with your vet’s
prescription. Some heartworm preventatives contain additional ingredients that will
control other parasites such as roundworms, hookworms, fleas and ticks.
KNOW that the American Heartworm Society guideline is to give heartworm prevention
all year around, in every state. And even if your dog does not go outside, mosquitoes
can still get inside, so ALWAYS use heartworm prevention!
KNOW that you can protect the dog you love against these invasive, possibly lethal
KNOW that, most of all, TIGR is always available to help!
Artiles by Nomi Berger. Nomi is the best selling author of seven novels, one work of non-fiction and two volumes of poetry. She lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada with her adopted Maltese, Mini, and volunteers her writing skills to animal rescue groups in Canada and the USA.