Now that we're well into spring, I'm concerned about heartworm, as I've heard that it is more common in dogs at this time of year. Should I take extra precautions for my pet?
From the Editors of The Dog Daily
Heartworms are insidious little parasitic worms that can live in the heart and lungs of your dog. They can cause heart malfunction, which may lead to organ failure and even death. Infected mosquitoes help spread heartworms when they bite their victims. During the spring, your dog has a greater chance of being exposed to this insect vector, due to larger numbers of mosquitoes and more time spent outside. Even indoor-only dogs are at risk, since mosquitoes can enter your home.
All dogs 6 months and older should receive regular blood tests for heartworm. Some veterinarians recommend that dogs receive monthly heartworm medication all year long, but you should consult with your own veterinarian on this matter. Mosquitoes can carry other parasites and diseases, as well, so an added prevention step is to make sure your window screens have no tears, holes or other gaps. Hardware stores carry screen repair kits if you need to hold off on replacing the entire screen at this time.