By Emily Hoppmann, DVM
Mosquitoes are so bad here they are making national news! The “Today Show” this morning featured a segment about the crazy increase in the number and size of mosquitoes in the southern states. That means the number of mosquito bites are at a record high and every bite carries the risk that our pets (including dogs, cats, ferrets, etc) will get heartworms as a result. All pets (indoor or outdoor) are at risk for contracting this serious, often fatal disease (if left untreated), but the good news is that we can easily protect them. We carry heartworm prevention alone or with flea control and offer multiple ways to purchase the products – you can buy a single dose or a year supply (and anything in between) at the office or through our on-line pharmacy. With all these options hopefully people can more conveniently provide heartworm protection. As Benjamin Franklin said,”An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” and that could not be more true for heartworm disease. Heartworm prevention is less than $100 a year or $5 to $10 a month, but treatment of heartworms can cost hundreds of dollars for dogs. Heartworm disease in cats is horrible because there is no treatment, pets often do not show any signs, and a single worm can result in sudden death. Since administering this medication (heartworm prevention) monthly is the only way to avoid this disease, it is critical to know that the heartworm prevention you are using has been handled correctly, is effective, and is a veterinary-only product purchased directly from the manufactured. At Elgin Veterinary Hospital we stand behind the heartworm prevention we carry 100% – which we hope offers you piece of mind knowing that if there was an issue with the product, you won’t be left out in the cold facing costly treatment. We will be by your side to tackle and cure the heartworm disease, with little to no cost to you (depending on each individual case).
All of our pets are at an even larger risk than ever before of contracting a deadly disease that can be easily prevented. If you are not currently using any prevention, please make sure to come in and have your pet tested for heartworms and started on prevention. If you are using a monthly heartworm prevention that you purchased on-line, I recommend switching to a prevention that is purchased through a veterinary hospital. I would hate to see the increase in the number of mosquitoes in the area result in an increase in the number of cases of heartworms in our beloved pets.