Happy May everyone!
The weather has been pretty great outside lately. I hope everyone is planning a fun Memorial Day picnic with friends and family. I know everyone in my house is getting ready for it!
I wanted to remind everyone that NOT only is this flea and tick season but heartworm season too.
Though California is not nearly as bad as the southern parts of the US, each year the infected mosquito population grows. We know that coyotes are ‘scary, bad’ for us dogs and cats left alone outside, but they are also carriers of heartworm.
Mosquitos that bite coyotes, bite us dogs and cats too, and infect us.
So…how can we be protected? It’s as simple as feeding me and my friends a monthly treat-or applying a topical on our skin under our coats.
Who doesn’t love treats? All my ‘bros’ and ‘sisters’ love their monthly treats from Dad. My feline buddies get Revolution applied to their skin between the shoulder blades each month. Mom makes it a special treat for my feline buddies by brushing them before she applies the product.
At IVS we recommend Heartgard, Revolution, or Trifexis to protect against heartworm disease.
Treatment for heartworm infestation can be very expensive. For severe infections complications from treatment is higher and chances of death as a result are higher too. (Visit the heartworm society website for details)
So why am I looking happy in this picture? My Mom is giving me my monthly heartworm prevention treat! Tastes good! Makes me happy when I know that I do not have to worry about mosquitoes making me sick!
Love and kisses from me, Lizzie!!!
HEARTWORM DISEASE: TRANSMISSION, PREVALENCE & PREVENTION
Dr. Melissa Kay
- Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal disease that can cause lung disease, heart failure and damage to other organs
- It is worms that live in the heart, lungs and blood vessels of affected pets
- It affects pets but also found in wolves, coyotes, and foxes which make places such as Irvine/OC an area of concern
- Heartworm disease causes long term damage so prevention is key
- A mosquito bites and sucks blood from an infected animal. The mosquito picks up small worms which become larvae and the larvae get deposited into the next animal through a mosquito bite. The larvae become adult worms inside the animal. Pretty gross, right?
Why worry about heartworm disease NOW in Southern California?
- Heartworm disease has been found in ALL 50 states
- Climate variations and wildlife populations change yearly and so does the rate of infection of heartworm disease
- Natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina have displaced dogs from other states to CA
- There are three new drought resistant species of mosquitos that have come about over the last couple of years and have been found carrying heartworm
- 29% of positive cases in CA have been pets that have NEVER left SoCal so they were infected locally. Yes, there have been reported heartworm cases in Irvine and some have been treated at IVS.
Recommended testing & prevention:
- Your dog must be tested every 12 months for heartworm (after 7 months of age). This requires a small blood draw. Annual testing is needed even when on heartworm prevention to make sure it is working (at risk if doses are missed or given late)
- Give your pet heartworm preventive monthly
- Products available from IVS that cover heartworm: Heartgard, Revolution, and Trifexis. However, we believe in TOTAL parasite prevention, not just heartworm.
- Ways to reduce mosquito breeding and minimize risk:
- Minimizing standing water/improving drainage in the yard
- Changing bird bath water often
- Cleaning the gutters
Egon is giving her Mom a high-five after taking her heartworm prevention!
+ SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT TODAY
Protect Your Kitty
by Dr. Elizabeth Morse
Mosquitoes are responsible for spreading for heartworm disease, and everyone knows those pesky little bugs can be anywhere there’s a warm meal – outside or even indoors. While dogs and other canines are main hosts for heartworms, cats can still be infected. Heartworms go through several life-stages – the larvae start off in the blood stream and then go through a phase where they travel through the lungs, causing scarring and damage. The adult worms end up living in the right side of the heart where they weaken the heart muscle over time and can lead to heart failure. Signs of heartworm disease in cats can be subtle, and the disease may not be diagnosed until there has been significant injury to the lungs and/or heart. Unlike in dogs, there is no easy test and there is also no safe treatment for heartworm disease in cats – that’s why it’s much better to prevent your kitty from getting infected in the first place by using a monthly preventative, such as Revolution. Even if you kitty is indoors – use a monthly preventative.
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“BEE” Aware: Signs Your Pet Could Have Been Stung
Have you ever been stung by a bee? Do you remember what it was like? It’s similar for our pets except they don’t have the words to tell us what happened so we are here to tell you what you might see.
Bee stings can be serious, even life threatening for your pet (just like for you). If you suspect your pet has been stung, bring them into your Veterinarian immediately. See our website for emergency after hours’ information as well as information on BEE KITS at http://irvinevetservices.com/animal-hospital-irvine/pet-emergencies-irvine/
Signs your pet has been stung:
- Crying out and/or running in circles
- Swelling in the area
- Rubbing, licking or chewing the area
Bring your pet in immediately if you see swelling of the face or neck, hives, or if your pet is vomiting and/or having difficulty breathing.
Superstar of the Month: Vesuvius
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