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Heartworm disease is entirely preventable. Thatís good because it is often fatal. Heartworms grow to over a foot long and live in the heart and the major blood vessels traveling to the lungs. Your petís heart eventually fails because it has to work extra hard to pump blood past these worms.
If your pet receives a monthly heartworm disease preventative, the tiny worms carried by mosquitoes (called microfilaria) are killed and never grow to a size that clogs the heart. In the past it was recommend that pets receive heartworm medications beginning a month before mosquito season and continuing for a month after, but that has changed. Many families were forgetting to give the medication during the heartworm season because they didnít have to give it every month. Pets on heartworm medication were developing heartworms, and the American Heartworm Society felt that it was happening because of the difficulty we have remembering to give a medication some months and not others. The American Heartworm Society now recommends that we give our pets heartworm medication every month. They feel this will make it easier for us to protect our pets.
Heartworms are carried by mosquitoes, and it helps to clear your yard of standing water so that mosquitoes cannot breed there.