HEARTWORM PREVENTION

HEARTWORM PREVENTION :  RECOMMENDED FOR YOUR DOG DURING THE SUMMER MONTHS TO EARLY FALL

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 Heartworm is a very preventable heart disease.  The incidence of heartworm in the Kelowna area, although low, is unpredictable due to the many visitors we have from areas with a high incidence (Southern U.S.) and from our wildlife population.  Therefore we recommend erring on the side of prevention in order to keep this disease under control.

Heartworm is transmitted by mosquitoes.  If a mosquito has fed from an infected animal, the young immature worm remains in the mosquito until they develop to the next stage. The outdoor temperature is a key factor as to when this development can occur.  Even though we may see mosquitoes in early spring, the overnight temperatures are too low to allow this growth.  The temperature must remain in the mid teens for at least two weeks overnight in order for worms to mature.  At that point if a mosquito carrying viable immature worms bites your dog, the worms make their way to the lungs and heart and mature in your dog over the next 6 months into full adult heartworms. Although the incidence is low in the immediate area, it is very easy to prevent by administering a monthly treatment. The medication used will also treat intestinal worms.

Prevention comes in either a flavoured chew or by a topical treatment.  We recommend starting in early summer (June or July) and continue treatments once a month until the fall.  Please come by the clinic and ask us which product would be best for your pooch.