Summer in El Paso is mosquito season and those bloodsuckers can make your doggo really sick if you don't do something to protect them.

Local veterinarians say heartworm infection is a potentially deadly side effect of summer mosquitoes. They say they see pet owners every summer who think that their pups can't get heartworms because we live in the desert, but that isn't true. It turns out coyotes have heartworms and they can pass that infection on to domesticated pets.

You can only prevent heartworms by going to your veterinarian. There are no over-the-counter heartworm medications. If you think that spraying your pup with a mosquito repellant with deet to keep the insects away from Rover, don't. It isn't good for dogs and can get them sick.

Some signs that your pet might already have heartworms are that they are less active, might be coughing softly, or getting a build up of fluid in their abdomen. Veterinarians say you need to get your dog checked once a year, but any changes in their behavior during mosquito season should also be looked at right away.

You can get a heartworm prevention medication from your veterinarian and get your pet started on that right away. Veterinarians say that is much better than trying to treat a heartworm infection. You can click here for a mobile veterinarian who can answer questions about heartworm in pets.