An important holiday takes place this year on August 20th 2014. For those of you who don’t know, that Wednesday is designated “Mosquito Day.” Hooray! Wait, what? Why am I excited about “Mosquito Day,” you ask? Well, I am excited because I know that my pets are prepared! Mosquitos are found in all 50 states and there are over 170 different species of mosquito in the Unites States alone!
Among other diseases, mosquitos carry the larval stage of heartworm (Dirofilaria immitis). An infestation can create severe problems in your pet’s health or even prove fatal. Dogs and cats can both be negatively affected by heartworm disease. The heartworm changes into its adult form over the course of about 6 months in your pet. The symptoms of heartworm disease in your pet are often subtle at first, such as general lethargy and difficulty breathing.
The treatment for heartworm is complex, expensive, and potentially dangerous! Prevention is the best way to keep your pet healthy. We carry safe, effective heartworm prevention products in our office that are given once per month. Testing for their presence is also advised yearly, whether or not your pet is on preventative.
Who wants mosquitos around in the first place? Remove mosquito habitats from your yard and living areas. According to Mosquito.org, removing standing water in any form from around your home will help reduce the mosquito population. Remember to check for standing water in and around gutter clogs, flowerpots, unused plastic pools, tree stumps that collect rainwater, around outside faucets and air conditioning units, tarps used to cover vehicles, and in irrigated gardens. If you have birdbaths or outdoor water features in your yard, you can also look for top feeding predacious minnows, or mosquito fish, that will eat the larva on the surface.
So what good is a holiday called “Mosquito Day?” It’s a perfect reminder to make sure that you and your pets are well-protected from all of the headaches a tiny little inspect can cause! If your pet is faithfully using monthly heartworm preventatives, congratulations! Remember to enjoy your peace of mind tomorrow. If your pet is not up-to-date, give our office a call for more information or to ask about getting your pet on prevention for heartworms.