High heat, heartworms pose dangers for your dog

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 - 4:20pm

It's summer in the Ark-La-Tex, and that means the mercury is on the rise. Most of us know how to protect ourselves and our pets from high temperatures, but there could be another big danger lurking in the season, posing a big threat to your furry friends.

Heartworms are transmitted by mosquito bites, and an abnormally mild winter means there are even more of them this year. If your dog is bitten by a mosquito carrying heartworms, the larvae can grow up to 12 inches within months. Eventually, the parasite overtakes the heart, leading to cardiac failure and death.

Area veterinarians say heartworm is a big problem in our region, and it's getting bigger. "It's been bad here for years, but in the last 10 years or so, I'd say there have been even more cases," said Dr. Valri E. Brown of the Dog & Cat Clinic in Shreveport.

There are preventatives on the market to protect your dog, but you'll need to use them mothly for them to remain effective. To get your dog tested and receive a prescription, contact your local vet.

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