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Mosquitoes and Dog Heartworm Disease

dog dogheartworm

he major concern of mosquitoes with dogs is heartworm disease. Once a dog gets heartworm disease from a mosquito, the treatment is complicated and has serious side effects.

As the heartworms are killed, they can break apart and form clots in the blood vessels that can be life threatening. Prevention is much better than treatment.

Heartworm disease is easily preventable by giving a monthly preventative treatment. But, as veterinarian and District Board Member Dr. Doug Kunz points out, “The most important reason to treat our dogs monthly is to prevent the establishment of the dog heartworm locally. If a visitor brings a pet that has heartworm disease to our area, a mosquito can pick up the heartworm when she blood-feeds and then potentially transmit them to other dogs. The more local dogs are protected, the less likely heartworm disease will be established.”

You can protect yourself, your furry friends, and the fur babies of your neighbors by practicing a few easy steps.

Prevent mosquitoes in the first place.
Mosquitoes need water to lay eggs. They only need one tablespoon of water to accomplish this. To prevent mosquitoes, prevent having a desirable habitat in your yard and use water responsibly.

  • Pet dishes should be cleaned and refreshed daily.
  • Containers that hold water for more than a few days are mosquito breeding sources. Water that collects under potted plants is the number one breeding source we find.
  • Check lawn drains around your home for water and debris. Clean them regularly.
  • Swimming pools and fountains require working pumps and regular maintenance.

Protect yourself from mosquito bites.

  • Dusk and dawn are when mosquitoes are most active. Limit outdoor activities.
  • Wear insect repellent that contains EPA-registered ingredients such as DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535. Note: Essential oils, repellent bracelets, and mosquito repelling plants are not an effective way of protecting yourself against mosquitoes.
  • Cover up. Wear long sleeve shirts, long pants, socks, and shoes when outdoors.
  • Check window and door screens to prevent mosquitoes from entering your home.

Protect your animals from mosquito bites.
Ask your local veterinarian about preventative treatment—this is your pet’s best defense against mosquito-borne illnesses.

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