All about: Heartworm

Learn common symptoms of heartworm, how to prevent contracting the disease, and what to do if your pet is infected.

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Apr 3, 2023

In honor of National Heartworm Awareness Month, we've written a short guide on the deadly disease—and what you can do to prevent it. It’s our goal at Parker & Ace to make sure that your pet never has to experience the unpleasant consequences of heartworm (or any other parasite), so we recommend finding a warm spot on the sofa and digging into this guide.

As always, remember that a member of the Parker & Ace veterinary team is available to customize a prevention plan for your pet based upon their lifestyle and the other pets in your household. Get in touch with us to discuss parasite prevention (or anything else on your mind). 


What it is

Despite how cute it may sound, heartworm is an internal parasite that is spread more commonly to dogs via bites from infected mosquitoes. Usually it takes 6-7 months from the time an infected mosquito bites your pet for the larvae to develop into adult heartworms.

Time of year most active

Warmer months when mosquitos are most active or year-round in warm and humid climates. 

Common symptoms & how to spot them

Heartworm disease can cause inflammation within the lungs and the most common symptom is a mild yet persistent cough.

Why you should care

Heartworm disease is a serious and progressive disease that can be fatal if untreated.

How to prevent it

It is recommended that pet parents administer Simparica Trio to their dog at monthly intervals year‑round—even though the risk of contracting heartworm and tick borne diseases steeply declines during the winter months, continuing treatment is still recommended, as it is difficult to predict abrupt changes in weather patterns, and your pet could still be at risk during warm spells. Developing the monthly habit can keep your pup happy and healthy and also give you the peace of mind that they are protected. 

Recommendation for fighting an infection

Call your Parker & Ace vet team so we can assess the situation and work to kill the heartworms already in the bloodstream. We will determine the specific injection schedule according to your dog's condition.