Does Your Pet Dog Suffer From Heartworms

Does Your Pet Dog Suffer From Heartworms



Dog heartworm is​ a​ common disease among canines in​ the​ United States. Discovered in​ 1856,​ the​ worms mainly live in​ your dog's heart and major blood vessels.

The worms,​ especially on​ worst cases,​ seriously impair the​ heart's operations. Worse,​ they could also clog your dog's blood vessels. These infections result to​ body weight losses,​ chronic cough,​ dropsy,​ breath shortness,​ chronic heart failure,​ vision disturbances,​ and ultimately,​ death.

Since the​ symptoms of​ heartworm disease vary among dogs,​ it​ would be best that a​ veterinarian check your dog to​ evaluate a​ final analysis. Most dogs show visible symptoms only when the​ disease has reached the​ point where it​ would be almost improbable to​ be cured by treatment. to​ help you​ see early symptoms and to​ hopefully save your dog,​ look out for these signs:

- Dogs that have been quite active usually tend to​ be tired easily.

- Dogs that would have been otherwise healthy usually gasp for breath.

- Coughing of​ your dog has suddenly become a​ common occurrence.

- Dogs bred for hunting could no longer keep up with rapid chases and usually fall from exhaustion.

- in​ some rare instances,​ the​ dog experiences convulsions,​ jaundice,​ and problems in​ the​ vision.

- Before it​ dies,​ the​ dog experiences emaciation. often precedes death.

Who gets infected by the​ heartworm infection?

Previously,​ it​ was thought that only dogs that were long-haired were more resistant to​ heartworms because of​ the​ high difficulty of​ mosquitoes (which bring the​ worms) to​ penetrate through the​ dogs' hair. Since then,​ it​ has been proven that this was not true. Mosquitoes even have a​ hard time penetrating through short-haired dogs. Actually,​ mosquitoes feed on​ the​ abdominal region of​ the​ dog. That is​ why both long-haired and short-haired dogs are susceptible to​ an​ infection,​ since both types have little hair on​ this region. Some mosquitoes also feed on​ the​ muzzle area or​ the​ ears where the​ dog's hair is​ quite matted down.

Can heartworm infection be treated?

Heartworm infection can be treated through chemical therapy if​ diagnosed early. Most of​ the​ chemical treatments kill the​ worms over some period of​ time. Killing all the​ worms in​ one swoop is​ no better: if​ all the​ heartworms were killed in​ just one treatment,​ the​ dead bodies would deposit in​ the​ lungs and kill the​ dog.

Remember also that the​ chemicals used in​ treating the​ worms are also as​ dangerous to​ your dog as​ the​ worms. That is​ why treating the​ disease using chemical therapy should be used with utmost care and should be handled by a​ veterinarian.

There also cases when surgery is​ needed. in​ most cases,​ this could be a​ feasible option. Consult with the​ veterinarian if​ surgical correction or​ any other method that can cure the​ infection.

There are also drugs that cold prevent your dog from getting heartworms. These drugs attack the​ parasite in​ its early stages and stop the​ worms from being full-blown adults later. This doesn't mean that your dog would be free from infection. This only means that dogs can still get infected during the​ season of​ mosquitoes and yet remain unscathed of​ heartworms.

Preventative medication using drugs,​ on​ the​ other hand,​ can cause serious complications if​ your dog has already heartworm infections in​ a​ higher level. That is​ why the​ use of​ drugs should be under the​ supervision of​ veterinarians. Taking drugs are also combined with regular blood texts. This has shown to​ be quite effective in​ saving many dogs with heartworm infection.

In order for your dog to​ avoid heartworm infection,​ protect your pet from mosquito bites especially if​ there is​ a​ high mosquito population in​ your area or​ if​ it​ is​ mosquito season. you​ might want to​ screen the​ sleeping quarters of​ your dogs to​ avoid repeated bites. Repellent sprays can also be used,​ but these only have limited effects.

You might also want to​ consult your vet fro preventive medication. in​ addition,​ you​ might want regular blood tests on​ your dog to​ assess early symptoms of​ infection. This is​ quite tricky,​ especially that the​ symptoms of​ heartworm infection could not be seen immediately.

In short,​ your pet dog which looked healthy may be having early symptoms of​ heartworm infection. it​ would be best that you​ checked. There's nothing wrong in​ doing that,​ especially if​ that is​ for your pet dog.




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