Heartworm Preventative: Why Pets Need it All Year

The snow is starting to fall and you haven't seen a mosquito in weeks.  Finally, we have some peace from those pesky, heartworm spreading insects.

Heartworm disease starts when a mosquito takes a blood meal from a pet that has been infected with heartworm.  This blood meal contains very small heartworm larvae, which make themselves at home within the mosquito.  During their stay these larvae  prepare to conquer the mosquito's next victim. 

When the mosquito needs to feed again it may find a healthy pet and transfer the juvenile heartworms into the pet's tissue.  The heartworms will migrate through the body and make their way into the pet's heart.

Adult heartworms can grow up to 12 inches in length and can cause serious health problems for your pets.  If not treated, the disease can eventually lead to death.  The good news is that Heartworm disease can be avoided by giving your pet a monthly preventative medication such as Heartgard Plus for dogs and Revolution for cats.

Why are you giving Heartgard Plus and Revolution in the winter when the mosquitoes are not out?  Because bot products offers protection against two intestinal parasites,  Roundworms and Hookworms.  Your dog can contract these parasite when they come into contact with another animal's stool.  If your pet isn't on a preventative year round, there is a good chance that Roundworms and Hookworms may infect your furry friend during those chilly winter months.

These parasites cause damage to the digestive tract and rob your pet of nutrients and blood.  Furthermore, Roundworms and Hookworms can infect your human family too!  People can get these parasites through contact with infected stool. 

Children are more at risk of these infections because they spend time outdoors playing on the ground and possibly putting contaminated things into their mouths.  Frequent hand washing can decrease their chances of infection.

When it comes down to it, year round parasite prevetion for your pet actuall is protecting your whole family!  If your pet is free of intestinal parasites, your family's risk of infection is much lower.  So, even though those mosquitoes aren't biting right now, give your dog a Heartgard Plus Chew and apply a dose of Revolution to your cat each month.


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