HEARTWORM PREVENTIVE – YES OR NO?
1. The Heartworm pill is not a preventive, it is a treatment. The pill, when given on June 1st, treats any microfilaria (larvae) that your dog has been infected with in the month of May.
2. Heartworm is passed from infected dogs to other dogs by mosquitoes. Heartworm can not be transmitted by contact with another dog. The infected mosquito deposits tiny immature larvae near the bite wound, where they migrate beneath the skin, eventually maturing and reaching the heart and lungs.
3. Temperature plays a BIG part in the life cycle of heartworms. “Temperatures must remain above 57° F for at least 45 days straight and at least 2 weeks of temperatures over 80° F. If these conditions are not fulfilled, the parasite lifecycle cannot be completed and your dog is safe”. – American Heartworm Society.
4. Risks of heartworm infection in your area can be quite exaggerated unless you live in FL, HI or TX. “The lifecycle of the heartworm nematode involves six stages and a dog can get infected with heartworm only if two of these stages are fully completed inside the body of the mosquito and those stages can only be completed inside the body of the mosquito if the temperature stays above 57° F for at least 45 days straight, both day and night. If the temperature drops below 57° F, even once during that 45 day period, the lifecycle is broken and the heartworm cannot be transmitted to your dog”. – Dr. David Knight & James Lok