Three new species of drought resistant mosquitoes are spreading.
They are black with white stripes, and bite in the daytime. All three species have transmitted heartworm in other countries, and are capable of spreading it here.
What is heartworm disease?
It's caused by worm called Dirofilaria immittis, which is spread through mosquito bites. The adult worms live in the heart and large blood vessels in the chest. Dogs, coyotes, wolves, ferrets, seals, and sea lions can all become infected. Transmission occurs when a mosquito bites an infected animal, and then bites an uninfected animal, passing the disease along.
What are the symptoms?
Tiredness, problems breathing, coughing, and heart failure can all be signs of Heartworm Disease. Infection can be present without symptoms for quite a while.
How do you know if your pet is infected?
A heartworm test performed by a veterinarian is the only way to know if your pet is affected. It is a simple blood test. If you're concerned your pet may have heartworm, or hasn't been on a heartworm preventative consistently, please contact our office to discuss heartworm test for your pet.
What is the treatment for heartworms?
Heartwom disease is treated only under the close supervision of a veterinarian. The pet is given a medication that kills the worms. However, as the worms die, there is a risk of the pet having a bad reaction to the dead worms. Heartworm preventatives and yearly heartworm tests are key to preventing infection in your pets.
How can I prevent Heartworm in my pet?
1. Mosquito control-Ensuring there is no stagnant water on your property is very important. Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water. Dumping standing water every 2 days will help break up the breeding cycle.
2. Heartworm preventative medication-This is a prescription provided by your veterinarian. Here at Yosemite, we recommend and carry Heartgard and Trifexis, two oral medications that provide protection against heartworm through an easy 1 dose a month. Please feel free to contact us if you're interested in starting your pet on a heartworm preventative.