All pets can become infected with heartworms, even if they live mostly indoors. Breed, sex, and age does not affect susceptibility to heartworms but dogs do get infected more often than cats. Mosquitoes carry the parasite, transferring the infection when they bite. When a mosquito carrying the larvae bites an animal, the larvae are transmitted to the bloodstream and then mature in the heart, multiply by the hundreds, and can grow to 12-14 inches long. Heartworms can live in an animal for up to 7 years. Though most cases of heartworms are treatable, the treatment is very risky (and requires the animal to be kept quiet in a crate for 8-12 weeks during treatment) and the disease can be fatal. The treatment is also very costly compared to the cost of keeping your pet on monthly preventative. Keeping your pet on monthly preventative is considered a part of responsible pet guardianship, just as important as their annual vaccinations. A monthly preventative is available from your veterinarian and it will also prevent infections from other types of intestinal parasites such as roundworms and hookworms, too. For more information on this deadly disease, please visit the American Heartworm Society website.
Furry Kids has treated all these dogs and more for heartworms! A simple once a month preventative could have prevented all these dogs from contracting heartworms. Furry Kids treats all dogs who enter our program who test positive and care for them while they are in recovery. Each will live long, healthy lives as along as they are kept on heartworm prevention!