Posts Tagged ‘mosquitoes’

Reminder: If your pet is not on a heartworm preventative, it could end up with juvenile heartworms swimming through its bloodstream and traveling to the lungs and heart.

At Little Creek Veterinary Clinic, we filmed these two young heartworms in a patient’s blood sample (seen under magnification):

Click for fullscreen view

Dogs and cats can be protected from heartworm disease with a monthly dose of prescription heartworm preventative.

Heartworm disease is spread by mosquitoes and is a year-round problem — think of the occasional warm days we experience each winter, which is enough to send hungry mosquitoes searching for a meal.

Contact Us to learn how to get your pet protected today.

The alternative to prevention just isn’t pretty. Here’s proof:

[Warning: Sensitive content ahead]




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Time to check for heartworm disease!
Schedule your pet’s yearly checkup today!

Prevent Heartworm

It’s March—Springtime is around the corner! Worms in your garden…and worms in your pet? Eeew! Hold on, let’s explain…

The worms you find in your garden mulch are not the same worms that cause heartworm disease in pets. Mosquitoes carry heartworms. And all it takes is one mosquito to bite your pet to become infected.

Here’s the good news about heartworm disease: It’s an illness that can be easy and affordable to prevent. The bad news is, if you don’t prevent it the right way, your pet is at high risk of getting sick. Heartworm disease is dangerous to your pet and some signs of the illness are tough to spot. Your pet may be acting fine, but they may have so many heartworms inside their body that it can become life threatening.

You may be thinking, “my pet stays indoors, so there’s no need for heartworm prevention.” But, Dr. Donald Miele, a Norfolk veterinarian, warns that heartworms are carried by mosquitoes, which get into everyone’s homes! One mosquito bite is all that’s needed to spread the disease to your furry friend.

Schedule your pet’s yearly checkup with us. We’ll do a thorough exam, including a simple heartworm test, to make sure your pet is at his/her optimum health. And we’ll talk about the best way to prevent heartworm disease, so your pet stays healthy, happy and safe!

Make an appointment for your pet’s annual exam today! Contact Little Creek Veterinary Clinic.

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Heartworm Disease has been found in pets in all 50 states, including Virginia.

Dogs and cats are vulnerable to Heartworm Disease, which is transmitted by mosquitoes. As anyone who is familiar with southern Virginia knows, we have a mosquito problem. As a result, we also have a heartworm problem.

Heartworms not only live in the pet’s heart, they also migrate to the lungs. And although a dog can harbor over a hundred worms in its body, it takes only a single adult worm to cause a fatal inflammatory reaction in a cat.

Fast Facts:

Adult Heartworms can grow up to 12 inches long

Adult Heartworms can live 5-7 years

A dog can have as many as 250 worms in its body

You can protect your pet with a simple-to-use monthly preventative, such as HeartGard Plus or Revolution.

Contact Us so we can help you get your pet protected from Heartworm Disease.

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Need a few scientific reasons to keep your pet on
year-round heartworm preventative?

Then check out this infographic by the American Heartworm Society:

HW 2 (764x735)

Click to enlarge

Still not convinced? Take a look at this:


Those are worms inside a dog’s heart. Heartworm is preventable,
with a simple once-a-month dose of heartworm preventative.
Contact Us to get your pet started today.

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Take a look at this chart showing reported cases of heartworm disease across the U.S. in 2013. Our area of Virginia saw between 51-100 cases per clinic of the clinics surveyed for this map. That’s a lotta heartworms! [Chart produced by the American Heartworm Society.]

Heartworm disease, which is spread by mosquitoes, can be fatal. Post-exposure treatment is available for dogs, but not for cats.

Large map

Click to enlarge

The good news is, heartworm disease is preventable, in dogs and cats.

Contact Us today to find out how we can protect your pet.

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April was Heartworm Awareness Month, and I posted several items 





to let you know how serious we are about preventing deadly heartworm infection in your pets.

But one thing was missing – until now: videos showing active heartworms in a dog’s blood sample.

And here they are — just click the links!

Live heartworm microfilariae 009

Live heartworm microfilariae

Live heartworm microfilariae 010

Live heartworm microfilariae Part 2

Live heartworm microfilariae 011

Live heartworm microfilariae Part 3

That’s right. Using my trusty Panasonic Lumix on Motion Picture Mode, I caught these larval heartworms (also called microfilariae) doing their wriggly-squiggly happy dance under the microscope. They didn’t dance for long.

Quick Review: Lifecycle of the Heartworm

L1 stage microfilariae (the newborns produced by adult heartworms) are ingested by a mosquito feeding on the blood of an infected dog. Inside the mosquito, the L1 larvae mature to a new stage called L3 and are then passed on to the next dog or cat on which the mosquito dines. Inside the new host, the L3 larva mature to become adult heartworms measuring up to 12 inches long.

These videos show L1 stage larva: the point at which a heartworm-positive dog is a danger to its neighbors. Don’t let heartworms infect your pet; and be a good neighbor — don’t let your pet become a reservoir for heartworm disease. 

Ask us about heartworm testing and prevention today!


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April is Heartworm Awareness Month for dog owners.

Scratch that —

April is Heartworm Awareness Month for dog and cat owners.

New poster 2

Fact: Heartworms are spread by mosquitoes.

Fact: Mosquitoes don’t just feed on us; they take blood meals from cats and dogs, too.

Fact: Mosquitoes often find their way into our houses, putting “indoor” pets at risk for Heartworm Disease.

Here’s what else you need to know right now:

  • Heartworm disease is preventable, thanks to products like HeartGard, Iverhart Max, and Revolution.
  • It only takes a single heartworm to cause a fatal reaction in cats.
  • Heartworm disease is difficult to diagnose in cats; tests can return false negative results.
  • There is no cure for heartworm disease in cats.
  • Treatment for heartworm infection in dogs is costly, painful, and can be fatal.
Choose your weapon in the fight against heartworm disease.

Choose your weapon in the fight against heartworm disease.

Get more information on Feline Heartworm Disease from

Heartworm prevention bonus: Most prescription heartworm preventatives also contain protection against intestinal worms (which can be spread to humans) and some contain protection against fleas or other parasites. That’s a lot of bang for your buck!

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     Reminder:  Our clinic will be open both Saturday, December 31st and Monday, January 2nd.  We are scheduling appointments both days and will be happy to see you and your pet on either day.

     Also, Saturday this week is absolutely the last day to get a free tube of Advantage when you buy a 4-pack.  Bayer has not extended the special into the New Year, so now is the time to stock up.

     And in case you were wondering – yes!  We are still seeing fleas and tapeworms.  Those nasty little dudes are out in force.  Make sure your pet is protected.

     Enjoying the 60 – 70° days we’ve been having?  The mosquitoes are, too — so don’t forget the heartworm preventative.

     Make sure your pets have a healthy start to
the New Year.

Image courtesy of Vintage Holiday Crafts.

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     If you’ve lived in Hampton Roads for very long, you know that mosquitoes are here to stay.  Unfortunately, these pests can carry deadly heartworm disease, which affects dogs and cats.

     As the name suggests, heartworms live in the heart, but they can also migrate to the lungs and brain.  While a dog can carry a burden of numerous heartworms before dying, a cat can have a deadly reaction to the presence of a single worm. 

     And treatment for heartworm disease is not as short and sweet as it is for intestinal worms.  Ongoing treatment for heartworm disease can last up to 6 months, requires total cage rest for the entire treatment period, and – perhaps scariest of all – involves the use of an arsenic-based drug.  If your pet’s vet has been harping on the issue of heartworm prevention, now you know why.

The Heartworm Life Cycle

  1. A mosquito bites a heartworm-infected dog and ingests tiny heartworm larvae along with the animal’s blood.  (Wolves, foxes, and coyotes can also carry the disease.)
  2. Inside the mosquito, these larvae develop into their infective stage.
  3. When the same mosquito bites another dog (or a cat), the larvae infect the healthy animal.
  4. Without a monthly dose of preventive, the larvae continue to develop inside the dog or cat, eventually reaching the heart and lungs.

Tomorrow:  Monthly Heartworm Preventative Medication – Explained
Information for this article was borrowed from the Merial publication “Protector,” Summer 2010 issue.


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     Adams Flea & Tick Mist is back on our shelves in a new formula:  Adams Plus Flea & Tick Mist.  The “Plus” is an Insect Growth Regulator which kills flea eggs and larvae for 3 months.  Adams can also be used to kill ticks and mosquitoes.  The spray is safe to use on dogs and cats*, pet bedding, carpets, furniture, kennels, and around door and window casings and baseboards.

     If you feel your chosen method of flea control has not been working, and you’d like to go “old school” on those fleas, Adams Plus Flea & Tick Mist may be the right choice for you.

     Adams Plus Flea & Tick Mist is recommended for use only on pets which are not being treated with Advantage, Frontline, or any other type of insecticide.  Concurrent use of another flea control method can increase chances of illness following the application of Adams spray.                                                          
     *Adams Plus is for use on dogs 6 months and older and cats 7 months and older.  Please read entire label before using.

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