With the summer months behind us and the weather starting to get cooler, we’re looking forward to seeing less mosquitoes. Does the reduction in mosquitoes also mean that we don’t have to give our dogs expensive heartworm preventatives during the winter months?
Budget Conscious in Forest West
Dear Budget Conscious,
Heartworm preventative medications can be pretty pricey, that’s for sure. But, living where we do, heartworms are a major problem and need to be prevented year-round. Unfortunately, it only takes one bite from a mosquito to infect a dog and, as you know, it’s not uncommon to see mosquitoes in Houston year-round.
Heartworms prevalent in Texas
Heartworm infestations are prevalent in Texas. In recent years, parts of Texas have recorded more than 30,000 cases of heartworms. If you skip even one dosage of heartworm preventative, you run the risk of your dog getting infected, so it’s very important not to lapse on your dog’s medications.
Heartworm disease causes severe lung damage, heart failure and is often fatal. Heartworm disease has been reported in dogs in all 50 states but is most prevalent along the coasts of the United States and along river tributaries (think: water sources for mosquitoes to hatch).
Prevention cheaper than treatment
You think heartworm preventatives are expensive and annoying to try and remember monthly? Imagine if your dogs were to contract heartworms. The treatment for heartworms is very expensive (some literature states that it’s 25 times more expensive than prevention) and takes many, many trips to the vet–oftentimes even hospitalization. The treatment for heartworms is also terribly taxing on the dog’s body. In some cases, a dog can’t survive the treatment for heartworms.
Financial help available
If the cost of the heartworm prevention is truly taxing your budget, consider reaching out to your local shelters and vet clinics to see if there are opportunities to purchase the medications at a reduced cost. Some vets offer payment plans and the website for Humane Society of the United States has a comprehensive listing of organizations that help pet owners afford medications.
So, a simple, monthly preventative will save you and your dogs much agony in the long run. And while it’s not always fun to spend the money on a preventative medicine for your dogs each month, you can rest easy knowing that you’re taking the proper precautions to ensure that your dogs are healthy year-round.
Pet of the Week
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