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Heartworms

pugDid you know that heartworms can be fatal? They are a very serious infection caused by parasitic worms that live in the arteries of your dog or cats lungs. Heartworms don’t just live in domestic dogs and cats, they also live in wolves, foxes and ferrets. Because heartworms live in wild animals, as well as domestic, means that your pet is at risk even if other pets are treated.

All dogs and cats can get heartworms. No breed is immune!

Heartworms are transmitted from biting insects, usually a mosquito. Though New Mexico does not have a huge mosquito problem, we definitely do have mosquitos. Areas that use irrigation, are near the river, have standing water like ponds, and houses with lawns, are at a higher likelihood of having an active mosquito population.

Infection can happen easily. A mosquito bites an infected animal. The infected blood matures from microfilariae into its larval stage within the mosquito. The infected mosquito bites an animal and deposits the larvae onto the skin of the new host. That larvae then infects the new animal.

It can take up to 2 months for the larvae to migrate into the host. Once it is in the blood stream, the larvae is quickly transported into the arteries of the lung. Once in the lung it takes six months to mature into the adult worms. Once the worms reach adulthood they restart the reproductive cycle.

Because the cycle is slow, your dog or cat can be infected and you may not even know it.

Heartworms can live for 5-7 years!

Dogs are at a much bigger risk than cats.

Heartworms in cats have a much shorter reproductive cycle. They can only reproduce for a few months, and take 7-8 months to reach maturity. Only 20% will successfully produce the sincemicrofilaria….or heatworm offspring.

Heartworms can reproduce in dogs for years!

Heartwoms in New Mexico

New Mexico is in a moderate Heartworm infection state.

 New Mexico is considered to be a moderate Heartworm infection state.

Prevention is possible!

Heartworm is fatal if left untreated. Unfortunately treating heartworm is not easy. It can be very expensive, often more than $1000, and is not alway curable. Though cats are at a lower risk for heartworm, there is no treatment for cats that are infected.

Good news! Heartworm is preventable!

Heartgard is the easiest and best way to prevent Heartworm in your cat or dog.  When you come in for your annual checkup, ask us about getting Heartgard for your pet. You can also get it by just stopping by the Los Lunas clinic.

Prevention is easy and affordable. It stops the hearworm infection from happeneing. Even if your dog or cat gets bitten by a mosquito infected with heartworm, Heargard will stop the infection before it starts!

Make sure to check our promotions to see our current deals on Heartworm testing!

Call Albuquerque VetCo or Los Lunas VetCo to get your Heartgard, or come into our clinic!

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2510 Main St. NE #1 Los Lunas, NM Phone: (505) 865-0662

Veterinarian Clinic Website: www.loslunasvetco.com

Disclaimer

The information provided on this website is written by Vetco staff. All information is meant to be informational and is not meant as veterinary advice. If you have a health question regarding your pet, their treatment or anything concerning their veterinary care, please call Vetco to consult with a veterinarian.