“Life does not consist mainly, or even largely, of facts or happenings. It consists mainly of the storm of thoughts that is forever flowing through one’s head.” – Mark Twain

Your pet’s health is our top priority and we want to keep you informed. Last month, we discussed the risk of Leptospirosis with all the rain this year and importance of vaccinating your pets. With all the rain this year, a least three dogs died in San Francisco from Leptospirosis. Also, standing water is necessary for mosquitoes to breed and increase your risk for mosquitoes to transmit heartworm to dogs and cats.

What is Heartworm Disease?

Heartworm infection occurs when the mosquito takes a blood meal consisting of microfilariae or young heartworms from an infected pet and transmits the microfilariae to an unprotected pet. These then migrate to the heart and mature into adult worms within 6 months. Female heartworms can grow up to 14 inches!

Cats are not natural hosts of heartworms, and therefore if they are infected, they usually have a fewer number of worms. Because of this, cats are harder to test for heartworms, but they can still succumb to the disease. We still recommend heartworm prevention for cats, and your vet may recommend testing if your cat is showing signs of heartworm disease (including vomiting, coughing, and exercise intolerance).

It is entirely preventable but if left untreated can cause serious complications, even be fatal. The earlier the infection is detected and treated, the better the chances are that the pet will recover and have fewer complications.

Do we have heartworm disease in Los Gatos?

Heartworm is here but our risk is much lower than in other parts of the country. The risk increases if you travel with your pets or live in high mosquito territory (Santa Cruz mountains, lots of trees, ponds, off Kennedy, Shannon Roads).

With the tremendous amount of rain, the mosquitoes will be a bigger problem this year. Remember to check your yard for breeding areas such as ponds, tarps, planters, rain barrels, bird baths among others. These are breeding places for mosquitoes and may be just steps outside your door. The lifecycle takes only seven days to complete the mosquito life cycle (egg to adult). For more information on mosquito abatement, go to: https://www.sccgov.org/sites/vector/pests/pages/mosquitoes.aspx and select the brochure, “Are You Raising Mosquitoes In Your Backyard? Learn ways to protect yourself and your family from mosquitoes.” More mosquitoes in the area increase the risk of heartworm disease.

How do I protect my pet?

We recommend dogs and cats be on monthly heartworm preventative. In addition, we recommend dogs be tested annually for heartworms, even if they are on prevention. During the month of April, please call us to schedule a FREE heartworm test with the purchase of twelve months of Trifexis for your dog. Let’s keep you and your pet together for a long time.

El Gato Turns 50 this year!!

That’s right! Since November 8, 1967, El Gato Veterinary Hospital has been serving you to keep your pets healthy. We value the fact that we are seeing second and third generation clients and their pets while remaining an independently owned and operated business.

If you are a veteran client, or even if you are new to us, please send us a photo and a brief story of your El Gato experiences so we may post it to our Facebook page and/or website. Thank you to all of our clients for making our longevity possible. You’re the best!

Have questions? Need an appointment?

El Gato Veterinary Hospital is here to help! Contact us today.