A serious heart to heart about protecting your pet

Heartworm isn’t going away. The 2013 Heartworm Surveillance Project has collected heartworm data from dogs around Australia and the most recent results show that heartworm is still infecting dogs in Brisbane. It only takes one bite from a mosquito to become infected, so even indoor pets are at risk.

Although the incidence of infection has declined it has not been eradicated mainly due to the fact that Brisbane has many of the environmental conditions where heartworm-carrying mosquitoes (vectors) tend to thrive:
• Increased temperature, and high humidity
• Extreme rainfall events
• Natural disasters like floods and storms
According to market data, of the 3.4 million domestic dogs in Australia only 47% are on heartworm prevention meaning there is a large reservoir of hosts (dogs) contracting and disseminating the disease. Although heartworm infection has also been identified in foxes, domestic and wild cats, ferrets, horses, sea lions and, rarely, humans these hosts do not play a role in perpetuating the life cycle.

A quick and easy blood test can detect heartworm infection and will help identify the best course of treatment for your dog or cat. (Nb this blood test is essential in dogs > 7 months of age before starting prevention and should also be performed if there are lapses in treatment).

Prevention is easy and inexpensive and can be in the way of
• a spot-on applied every 30 days
• a tablet or chew given every 30 days
• a yearly injection ( dogs only)
Above all, the best thing you can do is to ensure your pet is protected all year-round with safe, effective heartworm prevention.

Talk to your vet about heartworm, get your pet tested and start year-round heartworm prevention today.