Heartworm “season" is not what it seems

heartworm prevention

You don’t want to mess around with heartworms! They are life-threatening worms spread by mosquitoes, and they cause serious disease within the heart and lungs that may lead to heart failure. Even worse, treatment of an advanced case can be risky with potentially severe complications. 

Since heartworm disease is so difficult to treat, prevention is always the best medicine. Luckily, heartworm prevention is very simple and convenient, usually consisting of a once-monthly chewable pill or topical “spot-on” medication

The one catch is that heartworm preventives must be given on time, every time, year-round to be effective against heartworms.

Because heartworm disease is transmitted by mosquitoes, mosquito season is not as easy to predict as many pet owners would hope.

In many places, weather patterns can be highly unpredictable, causing mosquito season to kick start early or linger late into the fall, even creating warm spells in the middle of winter during which mosquitoes can reactivate. Owners who try to guess when to start and stop their pet’s heartworm preventives for the season risk guessing wrong and leaving their pets vulnerable.

Even in areas that remain consistently cold all winter, mosquitoes still find ways to survive. They overwinter hide inside buildings or within “heat islands” created over buildings and parking lots that trap heat in urban areas.

Some regions with warm climates never even have to contend with cold weather, allowing mosquitoes to thrive and transmit heartworms uninterrupted all year long. 

All this means that no matter where you and your pet live, mosquitoes can be present and transmitting heartworm larvae outside of the “classic” mosquito season. If preventives aren’t given during this time of exposure, the heartworm larvae can mature in your pet and cause disease.
Consistent heartworm prevention dosing is the easiest solution to this problem. By continuing to give your pet their monthly preventive regardless of the weather outside, you can rest assured that your pet will be protected no matter. 

Your veterinarian can recommend the best heartworm preventives for your pet. 

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