We go to great lengths to keep our pets happy and healthy. We take time to choose the right food, make sure they get plenty of exercise, and have regular checkups at the veterinarian. As pet parents, we are also concerned about parasites, specifically heartworm, spread through mosquito bites. Although our pets are protected by their fur, many areas of their body are still exposed, such as their ears and nose. As with humans, a bite from a mosquito is annoying and itchy, but in pets it can also lead to serious parasitic diseases, such as heartworm. While both dogs and cats are at risk for heartworm, the disease is more common in dogs since they usually spend more time outside exposed to mosquitoes.
What is Heartworm?
Dirofilaria immitis, more commonly referred to as heartworm disease, is a serious parasitic condition caused by a worm, which lives in the blood vessels and heart of infected pets. When an infected dog is bitten, the heartworm offspring can then be passed to the next dog the mosquito bites. A heartworm can grow into a parasite up to a foot in length and cause injury to the lungs, arteries, and the heart and can be fatal if left untreated. Symptoms of heart worm infection include lethargy, coughing, vomiting, difficulty breathing, and fainting. These symptoms are also associated with other canine diseases so a blood test is often required to confirm an infection. Heartworm has been confirmed in all 50 states and throughout Canada, and nearly 250,000 dogs are treated each year for heartworm infections.
Heartworm Prevention Through Mosquito Control
To help protect your dogs and cats from mosquitoes it is vital to engage in multiple forms of mosquito control. Obviously, keeping your pet indoors will reduce their risk, but that often isn’t an around the clock option. Instead, keep your pets inside in the early morning and early evening, when mosquitoes are most active. You also want to take measures to control the mosquito population in your local environment. Because mosquitoes breed and thrive in standing water, be sure to remove sources of stagnant water around your home’s exterior, change water bowls frequently, and avoid walking your dog in marshy places. As a precaution, put your pets on heartworm prevention programs.
Call Mosquito Squad
Both you and your pets will benefit from controlling the mosquito population around your home. In addition to taking the above measures, you should also have your yard treated regularly. Let Mosquito Squad show you mosquito habitats on your property and provide you with helpful recommendations to keep your home and yard mosquito free. Our treatments will help protect your pets and by maintaining a regular schedule. Call us today to get started on a regular treatment plan that will allow you, your family, and your pets to spend countless carefree hours outdoors.