Heartworm is spread by mosquitoes, any pet exposed to mosquitoes should be tested. This includes pets that only go outside occasionally. Remember that mosquitoes can also get into homes, putting indoor-only pets at risk as well. Pest Control Reviews rated Florida the number one state for "skeeters" because of the muggy temperatures and standing water. Heartworm infection is almost 100% preventable in dogs and cats. There are several FDA-approved heartworm preventives available in a variety of formulations. Adult heartworms can survive for 5 to 7 years in dogs and several months to years in cats.
The American Heartworm Society recommends testing pets every 12 months for heartworm and giving your pet a heartworm preventive 12 months a year. Your MVS veterinarian can recommend the best method of prevention based upon your pet's risk factors and lifestyle.