What is Heartworm in Dogs?
Heartworm in dogs is an illness that needs to be carefully observed and treated in order to give your furry pal as many healthful years as possible.
Heartworm in dogs is a parasitic worm that lives in the heart and pulmonary arteries of an infected dog. The worms travel through the bloodstream whilst causing harm to arteries and organs as they go. After the initial infection, it can take about six months to ultimately complete their journey to the vessels of the lung and the heart chamber. In most dogs with heartworm, several hundred worms can live in one dog for five to seven years.
More details about the early signs of heartworm and what are the causes of heartworm and treatments for heartworm in dogs can be found on this web page.
Symptoms of Heartworm in Dogs
Heartworm can cause noticeable changes in your dog’s wellbeing and behaviour. There are several early signs and symptoms of heartworm which you can observe in your pet. We have noted some of the common heartworm symptoms in dogs, below.
- Exercise Intolerance
- Weight Loss
- Greasy or Dry Hair
- Muscle Loss
- Fatigue after only moderate exercise
Disclaimer: The information presented on this web page is designed to help inform you of heartworm. It is not meant to replace the veterinary diagnosis or treatment for heartworm. If you have any concerns or questions about your canine’s health or possible symptoms, make to contact and consult with your vet right away.
The Main Causes of Heartworm in Dogs
To understand and treat heartworm in dogs, we need to understand the underlying causes of heartworm in dogs. This can help a pet parent prevent heartworm occurring in the first place or again.
Heartworms in dogs are transmitted from animal to animal by mosquitoes.
Diagnosing Heartworm in Dogs
No one knows your dog better than you do and therefore it is critical that your dog be checked properly by a vet annually.
Heartworm disease in dogs is diagnosed by a vet administered blood test, examination, radiographs or ultrasound.
To prevent heartworm in dogs, all dogs should be routinely screened with a blood test for heartworm either annually in spring or before being placed on a new prescription for a heartworm preventative.
For dogs at risk of getting heartworm, more frequent visits to the vet clinic recommended.
Preventing Heartworm in Dogs
Stopping heartworm in dogs is always better than treating it, therefore let’s explore ways to prevent heartworm in dogs rather than treating it.
To not to appear weak or susceptible to predators, the natural survival instincts make pets conceal illnesses. This means comprehensive physical examinations by a qualified veterinarian are crucial to keep your family pets healthy. Normally, blood and urine tests carried out by your vet are needed to get the total picture of your pet’s health. These preventive checks actions will diagnose any health issue sooner making treatment more effective and less costly and, more significantly, will help your pet live a longer, healthier life.
Heartworm in dogs can be prevented, easily, with an inexpensive, chewable pill or topical medication available from your vet. The pills for heartworm or topical are normally given monthly and can be given to dogs under 6 months of age without a blood test. Older dogs must be screened for heartworm disease prior to starting medication.
Most vets recommend keeping your dog on the medication for heartworm all year long. Not only does this avoid errors, but many of the products also prevent other intestinal parasites in dogs.
Treatment for Heartworm in Dogs
After the diagnosis of heartworm in your dog, a thorough examination of the infected dog by a vet should be conducted to evaluate the best course of treatment of heartworm and the potential risks involved.
The most common course of treatment for heartworm in dogs is a series of injections of drugs called adulticides into the dogs muscles. This cure has a high success rate, however it usually requires hospitalization.
All treatment protocols for heartworm in dogs require several weeks of exercise restriction after treatment and are not without risk. Heartworm disease prevention is a much better and safer option.
After the treatment for heartworm, your dog should be placed on a preventative medication for heartworm to reduce the risk of future infection.
Talk to your vet to find out more about how to treat heartworm in dogs.