Over two years ago when I moved to Texas from Massachusetts, I knew that many things would be different. I readily acclimated to the tacos, BBQ, and lake life, but what continues to amaze me is the number of ways that Texas tries to hurt us! Between the snakes, scorpions, stifling hot summers, and I-35, it's a wonder that any of us are still standing!
With our warm climate, Texas is a hotbed (literally) for many infectious diseases. Now one of the saddest things I've seen since being a veterinarian in Central Texas is the huge number of dogs infected with heartworms. It's so important that every pet owner in the country (and especially in the Southern states) is aware of heartworm disease and its seriousness. This is a preventable disease!
Despite the fact that we have easily obtainable, relatively affordable, and effective medications to prevent the development of heartworms in dogs and cats, heartworm disease continues to be on the rise in this country. Below is the predicted incidence of heartworm disease for 2017, from the Companion Animal Parasite Council. Come on Texas, we can do better than that!