Heartworm risk in pets increases with warmer weather, veterinary group warns

Texas group urges cat, dog owners to prevent deadly mosquito-transmitted disease

AUSTIN, Texas — A veterinary group in Texas is urging pet owners to protect their cats and dogs from heartworms.

The Texas Veterinary Medical Association is marking Heartworm Awareness Month in April, warning about the ease by which mosquitoes can transmit the illness to pets.

"Mosquitoes are not selective, and therefore any dog or cat, regardless of breed, age or indoor/outdoor status, is at risk," TVMA member Jennifer Hennessey said. "Treatment of heartworm disease is far more costly on the owner's pocketbook than keeping the pet on a preventative medication, and there is no treatment for feline heartworm disease, only the opportunity to prevent it. The prevention products on the market today are safe and effective."

The organization said Texas has one of the highest concentrations of heartworm disease in the United States, and the risk is increased as temperatures and mosquito populations increase.

 

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