Westgate Pet Clinic

Westgate Pet Clinic

114 Westgate Mall
Madison, WI 53711






                                                                We RECOMMEND that Heartworm preventive be given all year long.





                 q       Mosquitoes can survive the winter inside your home. A mosquito which is carrying                        

          q       Heartworm disease is as much of a threat to your dog in the winter as in the summer. 
q       Only one bite can infect your pet.


Eliminates the possibility of infection during the “off-season.” A year-round prevention program

Virtually eliminates the possibility of contracting heartworm disease because no “off-season” will exist.


        q       Convenience. It will be more convenient to “stay on schedule” to remind you to give the     Heartworm prevention

q       Provides protection for dogs that travel to warmer climates during the winter. Although mosquitoes

             are not prevalent in New England year-round, some areas of the country, such as the Southeast, has a

      year-round population of mosquitoes. This may pose a threat to any dog not on year-round heartworm    

      preventive if they travel or reside in those areas of the country that have a long mosquito season.




Reasons for this include:


q       The heartworm preventive medication may be vomited or spit out by your dog without
your knowledge, thereby, exposing your pet to heartworm disease.

q       Either by accident or oversight, you may forget to give the monthly preventive.


None of the routine heartworm tests are able to detect immature or early heartworm infestation.  Your dog may have had an undetectable infection at the time of his/her last heartworm test, and therefore, could have a dangerous infection. Heartworm preventives WILL prevent new infections of heartworms, BUT it CANNOT prevent the progress of pre-existing heartworm infection. 





        q       Adult Heartworms live in the right side of the heart.


q       They are 6-14 inches long.  Several hundred may be present in the dog!


q       Heartworms impair blood circulation, resulting in damage to the heart, lungs, liver, and kidneys. Serious damage may occur, even before outward clinical signs are detected by the owner.


q       Advanced signs include difficult breathing, coughing, tiring easily, listlessness, and loss of weight, and fainting.


q       Heartworms are found throughout the United States and Canada.


Mosquitoes spread heartworms:

After ingesting blood from and infected dog, the MICROFILARIA  (“baby” heartworms) is transmitted to another dog or cat when the mosquito bites it.  Once the heartworms mature, they begin reproducing additional microfilaria. This MICROFILARIA IS NOT DANGEROUS TO THE INFECTED DOG. A mosquito must ingest the microfilaria before they can become infectious. The mosquito must then inject the heartworm larvae into the susceptible pet. It takes 3 to 6 months for adult   Heartworms to develop in a dog after an infected mosquito bites it. Heartworms occur in all breeds of   dogs:  large and small, shorthaired and longhaired, inside-dogs and outside-dogs.  Heartworms also now are known to infect cats. Diagnosis of Heartworms is by blood test to detect the “baby” heartworms in the blood. A special test to detect “occult heartworm disease” is sometimes required when heartworms are suspected, even if the initial screening test is negative, because a small number of dogs may have adult heartworms but yet have no microfilaria in the bloodstream. Treatment is very SUCCESSFUL when the disease is detected early. The adult worms are killed with an inject able drug given in a series of 2 injections. A few days later, the worms begin to die, and are carried by way of the bloodstream to the lungs where they lodge in small blood vessels. They slowly decompose and are absorbed by the body over a period of several months.    Other injections are required to kill the microfilaria (baby heartworms) at a later time.



             We strongly recommend the new once/month   heartworm preventives, which also aid in the prevention of other internal parasites. 
It should be given all year long routine testing for Heartworms once each year is suggested for all dogs!

For more information please visit:http://heartgard.us.merial.com/home/