Heartworm in dogs is more prevalent than most people think. It can affect puppies, adults and senior dogs. Once a dog is infected, it can cause permanent damage to a dog’s heart and lungs and may even lead to death.
What is heartworm disease?
Heartworm disease is caused by worms living inside your pet’s heart, lungs, or the blood vessels related to these vital organs. While some geographical areas are more prone to heartworm disease than others, dog owners everywhere should safeguard their four-legged companions against this disease.
How serious is heartworm disease?
According to the American Heartworm Society, “Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal disease in pets in the United States and many other parts of the world. Heartworm disease causes lasting damage to the heart, lungs and arteries, and can affect the dog’s health and quality of life long after the parasites are gone.”*
How does a dog get heartworm?
A dog contracts heartworm disease when it is bitten by an infected mosquito which deposits the heartworm larvae on the dog’s skin. The larvae enter the pet’s blood stream through the open wound left by the mosquito bite. Once inside your dog’s body, the larvae work their way into the bloodstream and wind up in the lungs or heart.
What are the symptoms of heartworm disease in dogs?
During the early stages, a dog may not display any symptom. An infected dog will exhibit symptoms within six months. Heartworm disease symptoms include: no desire to exercise, constant fatigue, persistent coughing, loss of appetite and weight loss. In the case of dogs with a large number of heartworms, a dog may suffer a sudden loss of blood flow to its brain or organs – cardiovascular collapse.
Is heartworm disease in dogs treatable?
A dog with heartworm disease will be placed on a treatment plan that will include: stabilization of the disease, medication, exercise restriction, and repeated testing. Heartworms can live inside dogs for up to seven years. This is why it is so important to stick to the plan prescribed by your veterinarian.
How can heartworm disease in dogs be prevented?
Currently there is a wide variety of medications available to help prevent heartworm disease in dogs. They are available in chewable tablet or topical forms. A preventative medication treatment program should begin as early as possible in your pet’s lifecycle. Your veterinarian will be able to prescribe the best possible treatment for your dog.
PANACUR C CANINE DEWORMER Fenbendazole indicated for the treatment and control of Roundworms, Hookworms, Whipworms, and Tapeworms. Panacur C is safe for use in puppies 6 weeks or older and adult dogs, including pregnant bitches. Do not deworm a dog or puppy that is sick.
Heartgard Plus for dogs is used to prevent canine heartworm disease by eliminating the tissue stage of heartworm larvae for a month (30 days) after infection and for the treatment and control of ascarids and hookworms.
Revolution for dogs provides complete parasite protection. Revolution is a topical liquid medication which is used for heartworm prevention, flea prevention, and prevention and control of ear mites, sarcoptic mange, and American dog ticks.
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In conclusion, heartworm disease is transmitted to dogs by a mosquito bite. The heartworm larvae enter the dog’s bloodstream through the opening left by the bite’s wound. Once in the bloodstream the larvae work their way into the dog’s heart or lungs. Heartworm disease can cause serious damage to a dog’s heart and lungs which can lead to death. A preventative medication treatment is highly recommended to ensure your pet is free of heartworms.
*Source: American Heartworm Society. Heartworm in Dogs. (2017) https://www.heartwormsociety.org/heartworms-in-dogs Accessed on 1/1