Can mosquito repellent minimize the need for a heartworm preventive?

Can mosquito repellent minimize the need for a heartworm preventive?

Veterinary cardiology specialist Dr. Matthew Miller explains the benefits and limitations of using mosquito repellents.

"I think it’s really important to recognize that no one is suggesting that [mosquito repellents] be used as a single mode of prevention for heartworm infection. They're an add-on,” says Matthew Miller, DVM, MS, DACVIM (cardiology).

No single technique can offer 100 percent protection. “What we’re trying to do is minimize the number of bites that occur,” Miller explains. “And if we can simultaneously have a macrocyclic lactone on board year-round to try to prevent any infection maturation, that combination therapy is going to optimize the likelihood that we prevent transmission in specific dog.”

And if a dog is already infected, Miller says, “we potentially reduce the likelihood that a mosquito will bite that dog, become infected and serve as a vector to another patient.”