At Lodi Veterinary Care, we have seen at sharp increase in heartworm positive cases over the past year. We previously averaged 1-2 dog heartworm positive cases over this time, however, over the past six months, we have averaged 1-2 cases per month. This is scary!!
Heartworm disease is a deadly disease transmitted by mosquitoes. The increase in heartworm cases likely has several causes:
- More dogs traveling throughout the country, particularly to and from heartworm endemic areas, such as the southern United States.
- Changes in weather and environment, leading to an increase in the mosquito population
- Decreased dogs receiving monthly heartworm prevention
It is important to be aware that heartworm positive dogs pose a risk to ALL dogs in our area. Because heartworm disease is transmitted from dog to dog via mosquito, the more heartworm positive dogs we have in our area the more heartworm carrying mosquitoes we have – increasing heartworm exposure for ALL dogs.
Heartworm disease is a difficult, risky, and costly disease to treat. There are often no outward signs of the disease until it is in the advanced stages. For these reasons, prevention and early detection are critical.
We advise Interceptor Plus year round for heartworm and intestinal parasite prevention. If you choose to give heartworm prevention seasonally, it must be given May 1st – December 1st.
For more resources regarding heartworm disease, check out the American Heartworm Society website.