So guess what I just found in our back bathroom at Family Pet Clinic of Redondo Beach? Yep. A great big fat mosquito. My point? Indoor dogs and cats can get heartworms!
HEARTWORM DISEASE IN LA COUNTY AND THE SOUTH BAY. LOCAL DOGS HAVE BEEN DIAGNOSED WITH HEARTWORMS
Urgent disease update for dogs in Los Angeles County, including the South Bay, Palos Verdes Peninsula, and Long beach: Heartworm Disease has officially arrived.
We now have three drought resistant mosquitoes that are highly skilled at transmitting heartworm larva from one host to another. 5-20% of our wild coyote population is infected with heartworms, and many rescue groups have brought heartworm positive dogs to our region. We now have the "vector" to transmit it and the "reservoir" that carries this disease. Dogs are the primary host and cats are accidental and occasional hosts. Heartworm Disease is DEADLY and very difficult and expensive to treat; luckily it is VERY SAFE AND EASY to prevent. Indoor dogs and cats can get infected as mosquitoes are often found inside homes.
Medications that prevent heartworms in dogs include Proheart (injection that prevents heartworms for 6-12 months), Simparica Trio (monthly oral chew tab that prevents fleas, ticks, heartworms, hookworms, roundworms), and Revolution (monthly topical that prevents fleas, ticks, mites, and heartworms).
Cats can be protected from heartworms with the monthly topical product Revolution Plus. Cats seem to be about 1/10th as likely to become infected as dogs. Revolution Plus also prevents fleas, ticks, hookworms, roundworms, and mites. Cats do not need to be tested before starting Revolution.
If your dog is not on a heartworm preventative, please call us ASAP--- your pup needs to be tested for current Heartworm Disease and then we need to implement a prevention plan. Dr. Emily Beeler, a public health veterinarian, warned me that she expects an exponential increase in heartworm cases in the South Bay and throughout LA and Orange Counties. All dogs will need annual heartworm blood tests in order to remain on heartworm medication.
Dr. Kimberly Daffner
Family Pet Clinic of Redondo Beach