I thought I'd start this blog by saying "It's officially spring and time to get concerned about Heartworms again," however; I immediately stopped myself. Mosquitoes, the vector (meaning the carrier and the way you can get the illness) of Heartworms do not die outside unless there is a hard frost. Though we did have a hard frost this year, it was so mild that I saw a mosquito in my yard the last week of March! Heartworms are blood parasites carried by mosquitoes. Humans cannot get Heartworm Disease. Heartworms have 6 stages to their lives, and it takes 7 months post-infection to see if they are positive on a blood test. Montly Heartworm preventatives are also our monthly dewormers for the main Gastrointestinal parasites of dogs and cats. Assimilate all this information, and year-round Heartworm preventatives are not only recommended, but necessary. Heartworm disease is debilitating for cats and dogs that have them, and prevention costs approximately $10 per month depending upon the chosen product and where you live. It should be noted that Heartworm preventatives, though many will treat some GI parasites, are just that: preventatives. This is another good reason to give the prevention year-round, as we know here in Ohio how warm it can be even into November; then you need that December dose to take care of anything injected in November. The treatment, or cure, for Heartworm positive dogs is painful, extremely expensive injections, and a serious risk of side effects. There is no proven treatment for Heartworm positive cats. If you need to re-start your Heartworm prevention for your dogs and cats please give us a call. For more information on Heartworm Disease please visit The American Heartworm Society, at https://www.heartwormsociety.org/.