What you need to know about Heart Worm
This is the big nasty. Heart worms are transmitted by mosquitoes, so the heart worm “season” really depends on where you live. In my neck of the woods, I only have to keep my dog on a heart worm preventive in the summer. An infected mosquito bites a dog and transmits the heart worm larvae into their bloodstream. Once the worm develops into an adult, it will live in the heart and the great blood vessels leading in and out of it, the lungs and other organs. Heart worm causes heart failure and can lead to death.
As with fleas, there are bunch of options for you to get. Pills, chews, injections and topical treatments are all available, and your vet can help you figure out the best option for you. Many of them are combined with flea control products to make life easier.
You may need to have a heart worm test done in the spring (a small blood test) before starting some of the products, but your vet let you know how frequently this needs to be done.
Dogs are the preferred host for heart worm, but it can be seen in cats as well. If you live in an area with a high risk of heart worm, you may need to have your cat on a preventive as well.
Heart worm is so annoying and expensive to treat, and so easy to prevent that I think it makes sense to have your pet on a preventive even if you don’t have a lot of heart worm in your area.
There are no natural products to prevent heart worm!