As a dog parent, you need to know every necessary step to be taken if your dog is experiencing any health issues. Neglecting the same can cause a severe health problem in your dog. Heartworm is one of them. You can call this disease a silent killer. You can not overlook this disease. It causes a serious harm to your dog’s heart.
What Is Heartworm Disease?
Heartworm is one of the endoparasites. Endoparasite lives within the body of an animal. Heartworm is a fatal disease that causes a serious harm to an animal’s health. Heartworms are found in heart and lungs. Heartworms are not only seen in dogs. They also live in cats, ferrets, foxes, and coyotes.
Heartworm In Dogs
Heartworm lives in the dog’s heart and lungs. Once they entered the dog’s body they mature into an adult heartworm and also produce more worms. If treated at an early stage, it can save your dog’s life. Heartworm causes a severe harm to your dog’s heart and lungs in long run. Taking preventive steps is the best thing to protect your dog from getting this life threatening disease.
Transmission of heartworm in dogs
The mosquito plays a prominent role in heartworm disease. Adult female heartworm in an infected animal produces a worm called microfilaria. These are baby worms which can be seen under the microscope only. This microfilaria moves and circulates through the bloodstream. A mosquito picks up these baby worms by biting an infected animal. Over the period of time, this microfilaria matures into larvae. This process takes around 10-14 days. When the same mosquito bites the uninfected dog the larvae are transferred from the mosquito to the dog. It takes approximately 6 months for larvae to mature into adult heartworm after reaching the dog’s body. Mature heartworms live for 5-6 years in dog’s body.
What Are The Symptoms Of Heartworm In Dogs?
At an initial stage the symptoms may not be seen but as the infection grows and persistent the symptoms are visible that include:
• Continuous coughing(mild)
• Weight loss
• Heart failure as the disease progresses
• A large number of heartworms in dogs can cause a blockage of blood flow in dogs
Treatment and diagnosing The Heartworm In Dogs
As said above in symptoms that it is difficult to detect the infection of heartworm at an early stage. But as soon as you witness any symptom of heartworm in your dog you need to visit your vet. Your vet may conduct a blood test to check whether the heartworm proteins are present in blood or not. If the positive result comes your vet will do some further test. After a positive result, your vet will go for injectable treatment. This is a staged treatment. It is divided in months. Your dog will be hospitalized for 2-4 days during the treatment. you need to reduce your dog’s exercise. The physical exercise triggers the infection causing serious harm to your dog’s heart and lungs.
Preventive Steps Against Heartworm
• Annual test of your dog to prevent heartworm
• Avoid your dog’s exposure to mosquito
• prevention program is a wise step to protect your dog from heartworm disease
• puppies below 7 months of age can start the heartworm prevention without any heartworm test
• Dogs above 7 months are required to conduct the heartworm test before starting the heartworm prevention
Your dog is an important part of your family and who likes it when a family member suffers from such deadly disease.
“BEWARE AND TAKE CARE” of your dog.
[Also Read] Heartworms Disease In Pet’s – Signs & Treatment