Why Year-Round Heartworm
Prevention Is Important

It’s That Time of Year Again…

April is a special month for many people because it’s when the first hints of spring and the coming summer begin to appear and new beginnings abound. But for veterinarians, April means it’s Heartworm Awareness Month once again, a busy time when they increase their efforts to teach pet owners about this deadly but preventable disease.

Although most people have heard of heartworms, many aren’t aware that they can afflict cats and many other animals, and even human beings. The tiny worms that cause the disease can also thrive in the lungs, arteries, and blood vessels, and if left untreated it can lead to serious damage to the heart, lungs, and other internal organs.

April is Heartworm Awareness Month because that’s when the mosquitos that carry the disease first begin to appear in many regions. The Roanoke Animal Hospital would like to remind you that heartworm prevention is a year-round endeavor, not just in summer when the risk is higher.

Why Year-Round Heartworm Prevention Is Important

Most heartworm prevention medicines also contain additives to control parasites such as hookworms and roundworms. These intestinal parasites live in the soil outdoors all year long, so you’re also providing protection from these pests with year-round heartworm prevention.

Protection From Other Parasites

Bringing a new puppy or kitten into your home is an exciting time for pet parents, but it’s essential to ensure that your living space is safe and secure before their arrival.

Begin by getting down on their level – literally – and explore all the nooks, crannies, and spaces where they might venture. This will help you identify some of the most common risks, such as electrical cords that need protective covers or taping down, small objects they could choke on (always keep children’s toys out of reach), plants that could be toxic if ingested, and blind cords that should be secured.

Ensure trash cans have lids and cabinets containing chemicals or medications have childproof locks installed. You’ll also want to think about creating designated areas for playtime and rest with gates or pens to limit access to certain rooms when necessary while maintaining supervision.

Heartworm Treatment

Heartworm can be treated effectively if it’s discovered early, but it’s a long and uncomfortable process, requiring up to six months of avoidance of exertion and exercise. It’s much easier to avoid this with year-round heartworm prevention. It’s a great investment in your pet’s health.

To learn more about heartworm prevention, contact the Roanoke Animal Hospital in Roanoke, VA.