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352-372-8387

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Posted on 03-31-2017

Gainesville pet owners - Do not let a mosquito break your pet's heart!

What are heartworms? Heartworms are a serious and potentially fatal disease in pets, particularly in Gainesville, Florida with the prevalence of mosquitoes. Foot-long heartworms (look like spaghetti) live in the heart, lungs & blood vessels of infected pets, causing lung disease, heart failure, organ damage and can be fatal if untreated.

How does my pet get heartworms? Heartworms living in an infected canine, feline or wildlife produce baby worms that circulate in the bloodstream. When a mosquito bites an infected animal, it picks up heartworms and when it bites another animal, the worms enter through the bite wound. Heartworms grow and live for 5 – 7 years in dogs and 3 years in cats.

How prevalent are heartworms? Heartworm disease is a year-round problem. In Alachua County, 1 in 59 dogs tested positive for heartworms. 

What can I do to protect my pet? Dogs should be tested annually for heartworms. Prevention is the safest & most cost-effective option, but treatment is available for dogs (although costly & lengthy). Cats should be tested as the veterinarian deems appropriate. There is NO treatment in cats, so prevention is critical and the only way to protect.



Shores Animal Hospital has safe, effective products available that should be administered 12 months of the year to protect your pet:
• Trifexis is a monthly chew given to dogs to prevent heartworm disease and control hookworm, roundworm and whipworm infections plus kills fleas and prevent infestations.  (Each purchase of 6 months of Trifexis is a chance for you to WIN a Google Home, a hands-free, electronic personal assistant!)

• Heartgard is a monthly chew to prevent heartworms. 

 • Advantage Multi is applied topically to cats or dogs to prevent heartworms and kills fleas and controls roundworms, hookworms & ear mites. 
Keep your pets safe from heartworms - a deadly but preventable disease!

Call us at 372-8387 or click here to schedule an appointment for their heartworm test and to discuss the best prevention options for your pets.

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