Village Animal Clinic

Heartworm 2013

With global warming, we now experience warmer weather for a greater part of the year, making mosquitoes a fact of life in Ontario for an estimated ten months of the year.  Heartworms are transmitted from animal to animal by mosquitoes, which result in a serious and potentially fatal, parasitic disease.

Southern Ontario continues to be the principal centre for heartworm infection in Canadian dogs.  The Canada-wide study showed that 564 dogs tested positive for heartworm in Canada in 2010.  Of those dogs, 431 were located in Ontario!

Despite the increasing numbers of domestic dogs being tested and put on preventative medication, the number of infected dogs continues to rise.  Southern Ontario is considered an endemic area for heartworm disease, in large part due to our population of wild canines (i.e. coyotes, etc.) which receives no preventative medication or treatment.

We recommend the year-round administration of Sentinel, a once-a-month mealtime tablet that virtually eliminates the possibility of heartworm, hookworm, roundworm, whipworm and fleas.  Yearly heartworm testing is still necessary, as this is the only way to ensure the efficacy of the medication.  In the unlikely event that an animal becomes infected while on Sentinel, Novartis will cover the costs for heartworm treatment.

Once yearly administration is established, routine heartworm testing can be done during your pet’s regular annual check-up, rather than having to make a special appointment.  We recommend running a 4dx panel, which tests for heartworm disease along with  3 other vector-borne diseases transmitted by mosquitoes and ticks, ensuring the very best in preventative care for your valued four-legged companion.

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