Heartworms are parasites that are carried by mosquitoes. Pets become infected when the mosquito bites and sucks blood. Once the pet gets infected with heartworms, the worms travel pulmonary vessels and lungs. These worms start living inside the arteries of the lungs and chambers of a pet’s heart and feed on surrounding blood.
Mature heartworms can grow up to 30cm long and 2 cm thick in population of over 180. In the adult stage the heartworms are able to breed with other heartworms and produce microfilaria. When the mosquitoes suck the blood from this infected pet they pick these tiny microfilaria and carry to other pets, where the process begins again.
Heartworm Disease Symptoms:
When pets get heartworm disease they often cough and feel difficult in breathing. In advance cases there may be a heart failure, distended abdomen, internal damage to the organs, distressed breathing and sometime collapse from sudden destruction of a pet’s red blood cells. Cats with heartworms disease develop asthma- like symptoms and their hearts enlarge. This heartworm disease in pets often fatal once signs of the disease occurs. As you notice any of the following signs, take your pet to the vet to diagnose and prevent.
- Dry and persistent cough
- Lack of stamina
- Weight loss
- Dry coat
- Difficulty breathing
- Weight loss
Diagnose And Prevent Heartworm:
To diagnose heartworm disease in your pet, it is better to go for a blood test, as it is the best way to tell if your pet has heartworms. To prevent heartworms the vet will advice you the treatments. Now a days, there are many products available in the market for heartworm prevention. You can select the best option that suits your lifestyle and which is more convenient and safe for your canine or feline.
Some of the products names are Heartgard Plus, Advocate, Interceptor Spectrum, Sentinel, Nuheart, Valuheart, Panoramis, Revolution etc. These all monthly heartworm preventatives and treatments includes spot on treatments and chewables. Some of the preventatives also protect from other parasites like fleas, ticks and even worms too. Make sure before starting any treatment take the advice from the vet.