April 13, 2017
Mosquito season has started in Southeastern Ohio. The American Heartworm Society offers a very good explanation of how these pesky insects can deliver a deadly disease to your dog or cat:
“The mosquito plays an essential role in the heartworm life cycle. Adult female heartworms living in an infected dog, fox, coyote, or wolf produce microscopic baby worms called microfilaria that circulate in the bloodstream. When a mosquito bites and takes a blood meal from an infected animal, it picks up these baby worms, which develop and mature into “infective stage” larvae over a period of 10 to 14 days. Then, when the infected mosquito bites another dog, cat, or susceptible wild animal, the infective larvae are deposited onto the surface of the animal’s skin and enter the new host through the mosquito’s bite wound.”
Heartworm infections are expensive and can be dangerous to treat. If your dog or cat needs heartworm treatment, it will include:
On the other hand, heartworm prevention is fairly economical and simple. Just give your pet the preventative medication every month, and your cat or dog will be safe from this disease.
Watch this helpful animation video to learn more about the heartworm lifecycle and how infections affect animals.