CASPER, Wyo., July 03, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Westside Animal Hospital, serving pets and pet owners in and around the Casper, WY area, would like to remind animal lovers about the dangers of heartworm. As mosquito populations rise during the summer months, heartworm risk rises as well.

Pet owners should be vigilant and take appropriate measures to ensure their animals are protected. Westside Animal Hospital recommends testing pets for heartworm as well as using preventative medicine on a monthly basis.

Heartworm is a potentially deadly disease that is most often transmitted among animals via mosquitoes. Once a mosquito has bitten an infected animal, the larvae of the heartworm can then be transferred to another animal if the mosquito bites them. Once an animal has been infected, the larvae begin to develop and will eventually mature into adults within six months.  

The worms at the root of heartworm disease can live in the heart and lungs of infected animals as well as their blood vessels. Heartworms can grow as much as 12 inches in length. This disease can be quite severe and potentially deadly in just about any mammal. Pet owners should be vigilant about their dogs, cats, rabbits, ferrets and any other mammals kept as pets.

However, while heartworm can potentially affect any animal, the most common host pet is dogs. The American Heartworm Society refers to dogs as a “natural host” for the invader.

Once heartworms have matured inside an animal’s body, they reproduce and begin to produce larva. Untreated, adult heartworms can cause long-term organ and artery damage. The heartworm is a parasite that can affect an animal’s quality of life both during infection and after they’ve been treated. Prevention is always the best option, and infected animals should be treated as soon as possible.

“A simple blood test is all it takes to determine if a pet has heartworm,” Dr. Doug Johannessen explains. “And keeping pets on monthly preventative medication can help to protect them against infection.”

Dr. Laura Johannessen adds, “If your pet tests positive for heartworm, we will help you determine the best treatment option to minimize damage to the heart, lungs and arteries.”

As mosquito populations rise during the warmest months of the year, the risk of heartworm rises accordingly. Casper veterinarian and animal hospital Westside Animal Hospital offers both testing and preventative medications for heartworm. This Casper veterinarian also offers full exams, pet surgery, vaccinations, laboratory tests, spay and neuter procedures, nutritional advice, pet dental care and microchipping.  

Westside Animal Hospital is located at 631 South Ash Street in Casper, Wyoming. Those in the area who have questions about the clinic’s services or who wish to book an appointment may do so by calling (307) 460-5604. More information is also available on their website at

Westside Animal Hospital, (307) 460-5604