In the muggy south, heartworm prevention is a must for all dogs and cats. Heartworms travel in mosquitoes from animal to animal, getting into the blood stream of a dog or cat when an infected mosquito takes a blood meal. At that time, immature heartworms escape from the mosquitoe’s mouthparts, travel into the bloodstream of your pet, and mature in the animal’s heart. Here the worms will restrict blood flow, cause coughing, weight loss, lethargy and other symptoms related to heart failure. Unfortunately for South Carolina, mosquitoes are prevalent throughout the year and pets must stay on prevention year-round. Even inside pets are vulnerable as mosquitoes can get in through tiny cracks in windows or doors, and can even hitch a ride inside on you! If you’d like to receive reminders for your heartworm (and flea) preventatives of choice, go here and select the appropriate link.