Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Using Interceptor during the winter months
With temperatures in the mid-20 for the few weeks, it should be ok to stop my dogs’ heartworm prevention, right? NO!
Why is Interceptor recommended for use all year round for my dog?
Heartworms are a blood parasite transmitted by mosquitoes. From the time an infected mosquito bites your dog to the time your dog will test positive for heartworm disease is 6-7 months. Heartworms are transmitted when a mosquito bites an infected dog, or natural host like coyote, acquires the baby heartworms called microfilaria and then bites another dog, giving the second dog the baby heartworms while taking a blood meal. The baby worms mature in the blood stream, travel through the lungs to the heart and fill it up like a bowl of spaghetti. Yuck, right?
There is a small risk, depending on the temperature, that a mosquito survived outside and can bite your dog. Mosquito’s can allow sneak inside and bite our pets. Heartworm disease is fatal if untreated and expensive, painful, and dangerous to treat. Keeping your pet on heartworm prevention like Interceptor year-round guarantees that your pet will not become infected with adult heartworms and have to go through lengthy and painful treatment.
If you stop Interceptor when it cold, how do you know when to start again? What if you stop and it warms back up? It’s just safer to give your dog Interceptor year-round instead of trying to guess when the mosquitoes are active.
Interceptor also prevents 3 common intestinal parasites- roundworms, hookworms, and whipworms. The eggs of these parasites can be dominant in the soil for long periods of time and then active again when your pet ingests them (licking their feet after walking in the dog park, puppies that constantly try to eat anything they find). Interceptor will prevent the eggs from forming into adult parasites in your dog’s GI tract, causing nausea, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Two of those parasites, roundworms and hookworms are zoonotic, meaning they can be spread from pets to people, usually children and adults or elderly with compromised immune systems.
For more information and statistics on heartworm and parasite infection visit: