***I will add more information through time***
Heartworm has been detected in all 50 States & also worldwide. There are over 50 species of mosquitos being able to transmit Heartworms.
Preventative measures are now also becoming more poplular for cats. Any area where dogs can get Heartworm, cats can get them as well. The current rate of diagnosis ranges from 5 to 20% that of dogs in the same area.
Virtually 100% of dogs exposed to infective heartworm larvae become infected; the percentage drops to 61% to 90% of cats. The American Heartworm Society estimates that only 55% of dogs in the U.S. are currently on a heartworm preventive, leaving an estimated 27 million dogs at risk of acquiring heartworm disease.
*A study performed at North Carolina State University indicated that 27% of cats infected with heartworms were solely indoor cats.
Sea lions, Humans, ferrets, coyotes, foxes, wolves are just a few of the 30 species that can become infected by Heartworms.
The cost of a heartworm test and preventative is very minimal, especially when put up against the cost and the possible live of a beloved pet should they have to go through Immiticide(Melarsamine) treatment should they be in Stage III or IV. Sodium thiacetarsemide (Caparsolate) is another treatment that is used and from there the animal is then put on a Preventative to kill the baby worms and those still in larvae stage.
A puppy, depending on when they are born in the year does not require a HWT in their first year but they go on Heartworm Preventative. Heartworm preventative ‘goes' back only one month and after a dog is bitten by an infected mosquito, the larvae carrying the heartworm infection then take roughly two months to make their way to the animals bloodstream. From there, the infection is quickly carried to the lungs, where the larvae mature into adults and can actually live for up to seven years. During part of that period heartworms can reproduce. Any puppy already at 7 months of age without previously being given heartworm medicine is at risk from already being a heartworm host. This is why it is important to start heartworm prevention medicine as early as possible in your pets life. Most products are suitable for puppies from two to three months old. To not have your pet on Heartworm preventative for a year is not in the best interest of your pet. You might wish to re-visit this topic in the future with any additional pets you might acquire as puppies.
We treat Stage I and Stage II of HW with HG. BHRR works closely with a vet in GA when it comes to our Rescues who has been doing studies on HG and HW+ dogs for the past almost 18 years. (she has documented that 50% of the dogs they see are HW+ and that out of the animals that they rank as Stage I or II; and have treated with HG; 100% of those dogs were HW- within 12 – 18 months).
Stage III would be treated via the Melarsamine or Carpasolate methods depending on various factors of age, health etc. of the dog in question. Re: Stage IV and possible treatment, I have only ever seen two dogs successfully treated for Stage IV and one was a Saint Bernard under the care of Krys at THDR. The medical community was just amazed at his recovery.
The United States has about 200 species of ticks and more than 200 species of fleas.
A flea can lay up to 50 eggs a day. Some tick species lay 100 eggs at a time, others as many as 6,000.
One flea can bite a dog or cat more than 400 times in a single day.
An adult flea can live up to four months, but flea larvae can live in the environment for more than a year. Some ticks can take up to several years to complete their life cycle.
We do not use Revolution as a HW treatment method with our Giants at BHRR. We have seen too many adverse reactions. We have used Revolution combined with a Capstar first for immediate flea treatment of new rescues for it kills fleas in all life stages as opposed to Sentinel which does not kill adult fleas (they will die off eventually without reproducing though).
Our heartworm preventative of choice is Sentinel and it also covers hookworms of which Great Danes can be very prone too and Revolution does not cover hooks.
On a personal note, we keep our dogs on Sentinel year round here at our home and do heartworm testing every 2 years.