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Heartworm in the Valley

Heartworm is a roundworm parasite that is carried by mosquitos that mostly is found in dogs but can show up in other animals as well. Heartworm is fatal if it goes untreated. It is transmitted through mosquito bites from one animal to the next and makes your pets’ arteries their breeding ground. Heartworm has not been a big concern in the valley because the dry heat doesn’t attract mosquitos. Your pet is more at risk on becoming infected if you take them to the mountains or lakes but now mosquitos are becoming more common here in the valley which means a higher risk of infection for your furry friends.

What does this mean for pet owners? Most veternarians give the test with their 6 month exam but until recently have not been serious about educating owners about the risks. When you take your pet to the veterinarian ask about it. The medication to prevent Heartworm is based on weight and is usually purchased in a 6 month supply. If you dog is under 7 years old you have the option to get them a shot that lasts six full months. Otherwise, you will have to give them an oral chew every month. The shot is a little more expensive but saves a lot of hassle. The effects from this fatal parasite can be devastating to you and your family pet. Be sure to keep your pets healthy and ask your veterinarian for further details.

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