Fall brings increased risk for heartworm and Lyme disease

This fall the advice from vets is spoil your pets when it comes to their health.

Heartworms and ticks are on the rise, according to the Companion Animal Parasite Council. They say the risk of Lyme Disease caused by ticks will increase this fall. The organization also puts South Carolina in an extreme risk category for heartworm, carried by mosquitoes.

The American Heartworm Society ranks South Carolina in the top 10 states for the most cases. At Grand Strand Animal Hospital, they're testing pets when they come in. One Horry County animal clinic saw more the 50 positive cases of heartworm in a month.

"If you have a wooded area in your backyard or you go for walks in that park or something like that, than you do need to make sure that you have some kind of tick prevention," Katherine Tucker with Grand Strand Animal Hospital said.

The increase is being caused by warm temperatures and drought this summer. It's expected to extend into fall.

There are things you can do though to protect your pooch.

"There's things like injections that you can give once every six months. There's the monthly preventative that you can give orally once a month," Tucker said.

Veterinarians say cats are also at risk for both diseases, so prevention is a good idea for them too. ã??

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