Did you know the in the United States, only 51% of pet owners are up-to-date with their heartworm test? The heartworm test is an integral aspect of heartworm treatment and prevention. Keep reading to learn more about heartworm disease and the importance of year-round prevention and routine heartworm testing.
- More than 1 million pets in the U.S. have heartworm disease. According to the American Heartworm Society, most veterinary clinics diagnose a minimum of 1 to 5 heartworm cases per year.
- Heartworm disease has been diagnosed in every state in the U.S. While heartworm disease tends to be associated with regions that have warm, humid weather, it is now widespread due to dog mobility and the variety of mosquitoes that carry heartworm.
- Heartworm disease can be fatal. Heartworm disease affects the heart, lungs, and pulmonary blood vessels of pets and can be fatal. Heartworm testing and monitoring is important because while infected dogs can be successfully treated, the treatment is most successful when heartworm disease is detected in its early stages. The earlier heartworm disease is discovered in a pet, the better the odds for effective treatment.
- Heartworm prevention is safe, effective, and cost-effective. We recommend year-round prevention for dogs in the U.S., even during cold winters. Treatment for heartworm disease is much more costly then year-round prevention and routine testing.
- Symptoms of heartworm disease may not be present in early stages of infection. Many dogs show few if any symptoms in the early stages of heartworm disease. This makes heartworm testing even more important since a dog may be sick but show no symptoms. As the infection persists, clinical signs like coughing, reluctance to exercise, fatigue after activity, decreased appetite, and weight loss may appear.
To learn more about heartworm disease, head to heartwormsociety.org.