Ceva Animal Health, makers of Vectra® 3D for Dogs, has sponsored this post, but all opinions and statements are my own.
You’ve probably seen the coverage on the national news the past few weeks of the historic flooding that has taken place in central Texas. While we’ve been very lucky at our house, we’ve still had about 16 inches of rain over the past few weeks, half of what we normally receive in an entire year. And, as you well know, rain means mosquitoes.
And mosquitoes mean heartworms.
Transferred by mosquitoes after biting an infected animal, heartworms are a serious danger to dogs–one that, if contracted, requires expensive, somewhat scary treatment to kill the worms. Left untreated, heartworm disease is often fatal.
Years ago, we missed giving one of our previous dogs ONE heartworm preventative dosage in January. The result? Our dog Yoda contracted heartworms–so today, we are super careful to give every dosage of heartworm preventative on time, year around. We write each dosage on the calendar and mark the calendar for the following month’s dosage day so that we never forget.
We want to do everything we can do to protect Barli and Tiki from mosquitoes and the risk of heartworms. With our recent rains, mosquitoes are worse than ever both at home and in the areas where we most frequently travel, like Port Aransas and the Coastal Bend–but we’re protecting our dogs with a double defense, protecting them from heartworms AND from the mosquitoes that spread them.
Step One: Protect Your Dog from Heartworms
To protect your dog from heartworms, talk to your veterinarian about the most effective preventative for your region. Your dog will go on a preventative medication, taken year around, to prevent the larval infection from developing into adult worms. It is important to talk with your veterinarian about the most effective preventative for your area because there have been reports of heartworm resistance in some regions.
Step Two: Protect Your Dog from Mosquitoes
But you can go one step further, providing a double layer of protection for your dog against potentially deadly heartworms. Along with our monthly heartworm preventative, we are using Vectra® 3D for Dogs (available only from your veterinarian) on Tiki and Barli to kill and repel mosquitoes. If a mosquito doesn’t bite your dog in the first place, it can’t transmit heartworms.
Along with mosquitoes, Vectra® 3D protects dogs from:
- Mites (excluding mange mites)
Is Your Dog at Risk of Heartworms?
Heartworm disease is a growing problem across the United States–and, if you think you are outside the danger zone, at least for part of the year, please think again. A warming climate means mosquito populations are often surviving longer into the winter.
An increasingly mobile population also means that dogs from heartworm-prone regions like Texas may bring heartworms into your region in many ways:
- a new resident in your area may have relocated with a dog from a region with a high incidence of heartworms
- a traveler with a dog with heartworms may introduce heartworms to your area
- a dog rescued after a natural disaster like Hurricane Harvey may be relocated to another part of the country; puppies don’t test positive for heartworms until the worms mature.
Talk to your veterinarian about how to protect your dog from heartworms.
How to Use Vectra® 3D
As with heartworm preventative, you’ll need to obtain Vectra® 3D from your veterinarian. This monthly topical flea and tick control is very easy to use. You’ll find each monthly vial features a patented applicator with a rounded tip to help minimize skin abrasions as you apply the parasite control from tail to shoulder blades.
The quick-drying Vectra® 3D kills and repels mosquitoes before they bite your dog–and also repels ticks before they attach. Flea feedings are reduced in just five minutes and fleas are killed in four hours.
Remember: do NOT use Vectra® 3D on cats. It is for dogs only.
Heartworm disease is a growing problem across the country. Please talk with your veterinarian about ways you can protect your dog!