American Heartworm Society honors April as the National Heartworm Awareness Month to raise awareness about a fatal yet preventable disease in pets: The Heartworm disease.
Well, April is here already and what can be a better time to emphasize the importance of diagnosis and prevention of heartworms? On that note, we have compiled all the information about the heartworm disease that you should be aware of to protect your precious pets from this potentially lethal disease. Keep reading to know all about it:
What are heartworms?
Heartworms (Dirofilaria immitus) are long and noodle-like parasites that affect the pet’s heart. Upon infection, heartworms can cause severe and lethal issues like lung cancer and organ failure, or may even lead to congestive heart failure.
How do pets get infected with Heartworms?
Why is it important to be aware of heartworms?
Heartworms can infect both cats and dogs. However, there is no treatment available for our feline friends. There is a treatment for dogs, but it is rigorous and does not fix the long-term harm that their hearts suffer. Therefore, it is still best to be aware and protect your pet them from the heartworm disease. As of now, the only feasible way to do so is to learn about the symptoms and prevention of this life-threatening disease.
Signs and Symptoms that could raise an alarm:
Heartworms are an unseen threat because they do serious damage to the lungs and heart even before any symptoms appears. Moreover, pets do not develop noticeable symptoms initially as it takes about 6 months for microfilaria to mature. Although, the only way to confirm the presence of heartworms is to perform blood tests, there are a few warning signs and symptoms that can signify the heartworm disease.
These symptoms depend on the worm burden present. The higher the worm burden, the severe is the disease. Depending on this, It is divided into 4 stages:
Prevention: The only key
The best solution to heartworms is to prevent them rather than treating them until they are around, since no one would want their pets to suffer from the repercussions of the disease. There are a multitude of efficient preventives available in the market today. These preventive treatments are just like the ones for flea and tick preventives that presumably everyone is aware of.
Heartgard Plus is one of the top selling monthly oral treatments for the prevention of heartworms. The combined effects of its two key ingredients-Ivermectin and Pyrantel not only kills the heartworm larvae but also destroys other intestinal worms.
- Eliminates heartworm larvae
- Also treats roundworms and hookworms
- Highly palatable beef flavored chewable tablets
- Pets remain protected from heartworms when treated for a year round
Revolution is a broad spectrum revolutionary treatment by Zoetis. It is monthly topical parasiticide whose key ingredient Selamectin helps to eliminate the immature form of heartworms in dogs.
- Broad spectrum parasitic preventive
- Highly effective in preventing heartworms
- Also treats fleas, ear mites, roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms and whipworms
- Effectively treats sarcoptic mange
3. Nexgard Spectra
Another best-in-class flea and tick preventive that also effectively prevents heartworms. Nexgard Spectra is a monthly oral treatment that controls most of the common internal and external parasites by interfering with their nervous system.
- Eliminates fleas, bush ticks, brown dog ticks and paralysis ticks
- Kills intestinal worms and immature heartworms
- Controls ear mites as well as sarcoptic mange
- Highly palatable and easy to administer
During this ‘Heartworm Awareness Month’, choose the right prevention for your pet from the choices mentioned above, with the help of your vet. It will not only save you from the expenses of blood tests, x-rays and hospitalizations but also save your pet from the pain and trauma of this fatal illness.
We have done our part to spread the awareness about heartworms, now it’s your turn. Share this post with your pet-parents group and help our message reach everyone!