Does my dog need heartworm prevention?
Albany is in a very unique part of Australia, and is one of the few places where the heartworm parasite has not been diagnosed. Generally, we do not consider heartworm preventative necessary if your pet remains in this area. In saying that, if you travel with your pet to areas outside of Albany, then heartworm prevention is one of the most important things you can do. Heartworm infection can be fatal, so please take the correct precautions to avoid the risk.
Why heartworm can be deadly
When an infected mosquito feeds on your pet, heartworm larvae enter the bloodstream. These nightmarish worms then mature, reaching up to 30cm in length! They can eventually become lodged in your pet’s heart, leading to heart failure and death. Treatment of heartworm is complicated and often has a poor outcome.
The prevalence of heartworm in Australia has been mainly in tropical and subtropical coastal regions, but in recent decades it has become increasingly prevalent in more southern areas. Changing weather patterns and subsequent alterations in the distribution of mosquito populations has meant that heartworm disease can be unpredictable. This is why prevention is SO important as we just don’t know where it might pop up next.
What’s the best prevention?
Prevention of heartworm is far easier than an attempt at treatment but it’s also important to realise that not all heartworm prevention is the same. There are topical treatments, oral treatments and a yearly injection for dogs. You should also be aware that many of the intestinal ‘all-wormer’ tablets do not prevent heartworm infection.
Ask us for the best prevention for your pet and we will make sure your pet is suitably protected against heartworm.