DOGS AND HEARTWORMS: THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW
Heartworm is a disease that is caused by long heartworms (Dirofilaria Immitis ). These worms are transferred to your pooch by the infected mosquitoes while feeding on your dog’s blood. These small parasites then travel through veins, increase in size and reach the heart of your furry companion to create some major health issues.
The symptoms of heartworm disease take a while to show up and that’s the trickiest thing because the delayed occurrence of symptoms can be a threat to the life of your pooch.
Hence, you should have the proper knowledge about the disease, its causes, symptoms, treatments and preventive measures.
Heartworm larvae and small heartworms are sucked up with blood by the mosquitoes when they feed on a heartworm infested dog. And once the same mosquito bites the other dog the heartworm larvae are injected into the body and then they travel through the veins and arteries, feed on your dog’s blood and grow in size. Once these parasites reach the heart, they cause severe problems.
Heartworm symptoms in dogs
The serious concern with heartworm disease is that it takes almost six months for the symptoms to be visible after the infestation.
Once they grow in size and block the blood flow, then symptoms can be-
- Heavy breathing
- Coughing, including coughing blood
- Inability to exercise
- A swollen belly
Treatment And Diagnosis Of Heartworms
The vet can carry out several blood tests, chest x-rays or heart ultra-sound to diagnose heartworm disease.
- If the dog has suffered heart-failure then firstly they would stabilize the dog’s condition.
- Alternatively, the vet will also provide the preventives to kill heartworm larvae to prevent the emergence of new heartworms.
- The vet will also provide some antibiotics because heartworms leave bacteria after dying. Those bacteria can cause bacterial infections and damage the organs
- These parasites are blessed in a manner because these parasites go through a phase of 2 months where they are completely immune to treatments. So, before beginning with the treatment your vet will wait for 2 months so that the heartworm larvae become adult and can be killed.
Heartworm Prevention in dogs
Everybody agrees with the fact that “Prevention is better than cure” and this is the phrase that even you should follow if you want to save your pooch from this fatal disease. There are many heartworm preventives in the market like Heartgard, Nuheart, Nexgard spectra, and Revolution. You can also find these products on the Vetsupply.com.au
It is very much important to understand that Heartworm disease symptoms appear later when the heartworms have already grown. So, you should always closely monitor your pooch’s health and get him checked twice a year for any signs of heartworms even if your Fido is on heartworm preventives.
Guard the heart of your heartbeat