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Posted on 08-27-2014

Do I Have to Give Heartworm Medication to My Dog While in Colorado?

We are often told by clients who have moved into Colorado that their previous veterinarian said heartworm prevention is not important in Colorado, so they stopped giving it.  Unfortunately, heartworm infection is known to exist in every state and is on the rise in Colorado.  Additionally, coyotes in Colorado can act as a reservoir for heartworm disease, and we’ve all seen and heard them as their numbers in our region have multiplied. The same mosquitoes that transmit West Nile virus in Colorado also transmits heartworm disease. With the recent elevated moisture levels from the fall of 2013 and the summer of 2014, mosquito activity is higher. Colorado Springs area veterinarians diagnosed over 130 cases in 2012 alone! This number is equal to Claiborne county in Louisiana or Shelby county, Alabama. 

The medication that treats and kills the heartworm has become exceedingly difficult to obtain. Fortunately we have been able to get a limited amount of medication from European sources, but this might not last forever. MONTHLY heartworm prevention remains the best option.   Regular use of certain heartworm preventatives (such as Heartgard Plus) has another important benefit. They help control and prevent many of the common intestinal parasites such as hookworm and roundworm which easily spreads to humans!

Want to know more about heartworm? Visit www.heartwormsociety.org/pet-owner-resources/heartworm-basics to learn more about heartworm disease in dogs and cats. 

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