(ARA) - As a parent, you would never consider sending your child to school without the proper vaccinations. But did you know that according to the American Animal Hospital Association, about 50 percent of dogs in the United States go without preventative treatment for one of the most common diseases among canines?
Many people consider their dogs to be part of the family. And with mosquito season in full swing, dog owners should consider the best way to protect dogs against heartworm disease. Mosquito bites may be just a simple nuisance to humans, but they can spread heartworm disease without pet owners knowing, and dogs are most at risk of becoming seriously ill from the disease.
Heartworm used to be relatively contained in the American southeast, where warm, humid temperatures create good breeding grounds for mosquitoes. However, longer warm seasons in northern states and increased pet travel throughout the country have led to dramatic growth in the spread of heartworm over the past decade. Veterinarians in regions that were once considered low-risk now report heartworm outbreaks in their clinics, and the parasite can now be found in all 50 states.
Recognizing heartworm infection can be tricky. Symptoms include chronic cough and fatigue, but often the disease does not show any signs until it reaches an advanced stage. Eventually, heartworm can lead to lung, heart, liver and kidney failure.
Fortunately, heartworm prevention is simple, cost effective, and the best way to save dogs from the long, difficult and expensive treatment required once infection takes hold. Here are a few ways to keep dogs safe:
* The American Heartworm Society recommends getting your dog tested annually for heartworm. During these visits, talk to your veterinarian about the best method of prevention against the disease.
* Protect your dog with a monthly application of a heartworm preventative medication. Some topicals, like Advantage Multi for Dogs (imidacloprid + moxidectin) Topical Solution, also kill fleas and treat intestinal parasites, such as hookworms, roundworms and whipworms.
* During warmer months, keep your dog inside as much as possible during early morning and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
Through annual testing and use of monthly preventatives, you can protect your dog from heartworm disease and help keep your dog healthy. If you haven't thought about prevention before, now is the time in the peak of mosquito season. For more information on heartworm prevention, visit advantagemulti.petparents.com.
Courtesy of ARAcontent
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