Warm weather, rain, and humidity: Mosquitoes love it all, and the flying bugs are more than annoying, they carry (among other things) potentially deadly heartworm disease, which they can spread to dogs. On my national Steve Dale’s Pet World, hear distinguished professor of veterinary parasitology at Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine Dr. Byron Blagburn talk about a change in protocol for heartworm prevention in dogs.
Here’s the truth: Heartworm preventives effectively protect against heartworm disease by preventing the migration of heartworm after it enters the host (your dog). But heartworm preventives don’t stop the mosquito bite in the first place, and don’t prevent microfilaria (baby heartworm) from entering the dog. The new “Double-Defense” idea allows for a second layer of defense—arguably the most important layer of defense—by preventing the mosquito from biting in the first place (and actually kills the mosquito attempting to bite).
In some places, mosquitoes have shown resistance against traditional heartworm products.
It’s also about canine comfort, since dogs are as annoyed by mosquito bites as we are. Animals, just like people, can become allergic to mosquito bites.
The product that supports Double-Defense, called Vectra 3D, also kills fleas and ticks, which is something pet owners need anyway, so this is all cost effective, too.