10 Common Myths about Heartworm Disease
Keeping track of the various ailments, parasites, and illnesses that pose a hazard to your pet can be challenging. Fortunately, we’re here to support you and make sure your pet is appropriately protected against dangerous health conditions.
We’ve come up to debunk 10 common heartworm disease myths to clear up the misconceptions that pet parents have regarding the condition and the harm it poses to animals.
List of 10 Common Myths about Heartworm Disease
Myth #1 A heartworm-positive dog can infect other dogs.
A mosquito is a must for the spread of heartworms. As a mosquito feeds on the blood of an infected dog, it takes up minute larvae worms, develops them inside the mosquito, and then spreads them to other dogs when it bites them. Dogs cannot become infected directly through contact with a heartworm-positive dog, but mosquitoes may spread the infection to your dog if it lives with or is close to a heartworm-positive dog.
Myth #2 If pets have heartworms, they can be seen in their feces.
Heartworms do not dwell in the gastrointestinal tract and are not found in feces, even though many worm kinds, including roundworms and microscopic hookworms, are shed in your pet’s feces. Heartworms are parasites that are found in a pet’s heart and the surrounding big blood vessels, where they significantly impede healthy blood flow and cause substantial inflammation. A blood test, which looks for mature female worms, is the only way to determine whether your pet has heartworm disease.
Myth #3 Pets will act sick if they have heartworm disease.
As heartworms can seriously harm the heart, and lungs, and cause a condition that eventually results in death. It is natural that you anticipate that your pet will notify you right away if they become infected with heartworms. Unfortunately, pets with heartworm disease don’t exhibit many symptoms until the disease is severe and serious damage has already been done. However, your dog may be infected for a year or longer before you see any symptoms until adult worms start to reproduce. Once this happens, worms amass and your dog may exhibit hazy clinical symptoms including lethargy, coughing, and vomiting.
Myth #4 Mosquitoes must remain attached while eating to spread heartworms to pets.
Unlike ticks, a mosquito does not need to attach for several hours to spread disease or infection. A mosquito only needs one small bite to transmit heartworm larvae through your pet’s skin and into the opening to the bloodstream created during feeding.
Myth #5 Pets do not need heartworm prevention during winter.
Although mosquitoes can survive extremely cold winters, they can appear once the temperature rises over 50 degrees. To prevent your pet from being bitten by an errant mosquito, year-round protection is safer given the recent mild winters and the unpredictability of the weather.
Myth #6 Skipping a dose or two of a pet’s heartworm preventive is not a big deal.
Your pet is susceptible to infection and sickness even if they miss just one dosage of their heartworm prevention treatment. Heartworm preventives kill larval heartworms that may have been spread by a mosquito bite and function retroactively. If your pet is bitten by an infected mosquito during the month she does not receive a preventative dose, the larvae worms may survive instead of dying. The preventive treatment loses its effectiveness once the worms reach a particular stage of development, and they will continue to grow into adult worms.
Myth #7 Heartworm prevention for pets is expensive.
When compared to the price of treatment, heartworm prevention is more affordable. If your pet has heartworm disease; the cost of treating it, being admitted to the hospital, and receiving post-treatment care might total more than $1,000. Preventative care often costs less than $20 per month. To provide your pet with the most protection and the broadest choice of prevention options, think about combining flea & tick, and heartworm prevention treatment.
Increase your understanding about : Heartworms: Symptoms, Treatment & Prevention
Myth #8 Administering heartworm preventative to a pet is a chore.
Today’s heartworm preventives are simple to administer to your pet. Even the pickiest pet can be easily protected with the tempting flavored tablets and tasty chewable. Also, due to the facilities like auto-order while purchasing products online, it has become easier to remember the frequency of doses.
Myth #9 Cats can’t get heartworm disease.
Although dogs are the preferred host for heartworms, cats can also be infected. A cat cannot reproduce the few worms that are spread by a mosquito bite, but they can live for up to three years and cause serious irritation. Heartworm-associated respiratory illness (HARD), which is named for the condition’s substantial lung inflammation and asthma-like symptoms, is caused by heartworm infection in cats. Cats with worm infestations may experience collapse and unexpected death as a result of the inflammation caused by worms.
Myth #10 Indoor pets do not need heartworm prevention.
All pets should get heartworm prevention, whether they spend time outside or not. Mosquitoes surely find their way inside; according to research and studies, 25% of cats with heartworm disease are indoor-only pets. Use heartworm prevention to protect your indoor pet against mosquitoes that follow you via an open door or squeeze through a crack in your home’s defenses.
Explore further: Why Heartworm Prevention is So Important?
Now that we have dispelled some misconceptions regarding heartworm disease, you are aware of the importance of testing and prevention of heartworm disease for the well-being of your pet. Consult your veterinarian for advice on the best heartworm preventive options for your pets and do not forget to visit budgetvetcare.com for getting your suggested/advised heartworm prevention treatment at an incredibly discounted price!