Home>702Times>Las Vegas Mosquito Surge Prompts Call for Pet Heartworm Prevention

Las Vegas Mosquito Surge Prompts Call for Pet Heartworm Prevention

By TheNevadaGlobeStaff, June 14, 2024 9:50 am

Las Vegas Valley’s pet owners are being urged to prioritize heartworm preventive medication for their furry companions due to a surge in mosquito activity, according to veterinarians.

The Southern Nevada Health District reported an alarming trend – the highest mosquito activity ever seen this early in the season for their Mosquito Surveillance Program. Over 20,000 mosquitoes were captured for testing, with a concerning number – over 3,000 – testing positive for West Nile Virus and nearly 50 for St. Louis Encephalitis.

While these diseases can impact humans, Dr. Kimberly Lutz, a veterinarian at Craig Road Animal Hospital, assures pet owners the primary concern is heartworm disease, transmitted by mosquitoes to animals.

“The rise in mosquitoes translates to a rise in heartworm risk, a serious threat to dogs and cats,” explained Dr. Lutz. “Just one mosquito bite can transmit the disease to a dog.”

Heartworm disease, caused by parasitic worms, can be fatal if left untreated. The increasing mosquito population has prompted Dr. Lutz to revise her recommendations for pet owners regarding preventative medicine.

“Traditionally, we haven’t been as strict due to the lower historical rates,” she admitted. “However, with the current situation, year-round flea, tick, and heartworm prevention is crucial.”

Dr. Lutz strongly encourages pet owners to discuss preventative measures with their veterinarians to ensure their pets’ health and safety.

Source: News3LV

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