Heartworm Awareness Month

April 03, 2024

This month is National Heartworm Awareness Month. With mosquito season fast approaching, there's never been a better time to improve your knowledge of this serious disease and educate yourself on how to safeguard your canine companion. Keep scrolling to find out more about heartworm and how you can prevent it.  

Heartworm Life Cycle

Heartworm Disease in Dogs

Heartworm disease occurs when a dog or another animal is bitten by an infected mosquito. The heartworms reach up to a foot in length and live in the heart, lungs, and blood vessels, resulting in irreversible damage. When left untreated, the parasites continue to grow and multiply, leading to further issues, including poor health and a decreased lifespan.

Heartworm disease causes a wide range of symptoms, including:

- Persistent cough
- Fatigue, especially after exercise
- Weight loss
- Reduced appetite
- Bloated abdomen
- Light-colored gums
- Labored breathing

How to Prevent Heartworm

Heartworm disease is difficult to treat and causes irreversible organ damage. As a result, heartworm prevention is crucial for dogs. Heartworm preventatives come in numerous forms, including chewable pills, topicals, and injectable medications.

The American Heartworm Society suggests keeping your dog on an effective heartworm preventative medication throughout the entire year.  Annual heartworm testing is crucial for dogs, too — even those taking heartworm preventatives. While heartworm preventatives are very effective, dogs can still contract heartworm disease. Having your dog tested yearly allows their veterinarian to detect infections in their early stages when they are most treatable.


Heartworm Guidelines & Fact Sheets:
Canine Guidelines
Feline Guidelines
5 Facts About Heartworm
Why Your Dog Needs Annual Heartworm Check-ups
What If My Dog Has Tested Positive For Heartworms