Heartworm and Lyme Prevention
These are parasites that inhabit the hearts and lungs of infected dogs. Heartworm disease can cause serious health problems, and may eventually lead to heart failure and death. Heartworm infection is transmitted by mosquitoes. The prevalence of this deadly disease has increased steadily since it was first identified, and it now affects pets in all 50 states.
Signs of Heartworm Disease in dogs:
- Breathing difficulty
- Reduced ability to exercise
Ticks are "ambush" pests. In need of a blood meal, they lie in wait on all kinds of plants and in virtually any area, for a potential host, either animal or human. Then they attach themselves securely to their victim's skin and begin feeding. Worse still, ticks are often so small that they can go undetected until they are engorged with their host's blood, sometimes days after becoming attached. Even then, they are difficult to dislodge. Worst of all, ticks carry and spread serious diseases. Some transmit Lyme disease, a fast-growing disease among people and pets throughout North America, which can cause serious health problems and even death.
Lyme Disease is the most commonly reported tick-borne disease in the country. It is now found throughout the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii, and its importance as a disease affecting people is increasing. Although the incidence of Lyme disease among humans and animals in a given geographical area is similar, animals –especially dogs – are at higher risk. The likelihood of exposure is greatest near woods, grasslands and along the beach – the very places people like to take their pets.
Signs of Lyme Disease in dogs:
- Hot and/or swollen joints
- Lack of appetite
Vaccination is by far the most effective way to protect your dog against Lyme disease.