Since April is National Heartworm Awareness Month, so in this article, we will discuss how heartworms can affect your pet? Moreover, we will share some useful tips for heartworm prevention and treatment. So, don’t go away!
What Are Heartworms and How They Affect Your Pet?
Take heartworm disease seriously because it can cause heart failure and lung disease in pets. Moreover, it can cause organ damage and sometimes lead to death. The disease starts to grow with the bite of a mosquito, and worms mature into adults while living in the dog’s body. They are called heartworms because they live in the heart, associated blood vessels, and lungs.
What Are the Signs of Heartworm Disease in Dogs?
During the early stages, dogs might not show symptoms. When the infection persists longer, the symptoms will develop. Some common signs include reluctance to walk, decreased appetite, mild persistent cough, weight loss, and fatigue after moderate activity. If the disease goes unnoticed, it will result in swollen belly and heart failure. When the heartworms progress, there can be sudden blockage of blood vessels, leading to cardiovascular collapse. Labored breathing, coffee-colored urine, and pale gums are symptoms of caval syndrome. If this blockage isn’t removed, it will cause death.
What Do You Need to Know About Heartworm Testing?
It’s a progressive and serious disease, so the chances of recovery are high when it’s detected earlier. There might be a few signs, so the vet should do heartworm testing to detect the disease. The vet will take a blood sample and detect the disease by the presence of heartworm proteins. Some vets do this testing process at their clinics, and some send this blood sample to the diagnostic lab. If your pet is tested positive, then further testing will be recommended by vets.
The best and easy way to prevent heartworm is to keep your dogs on heartworm preventatives. Seek the vets’ help, and they will recommend you a monthly heartworm preventative pill. It will keep your pets safe from parasites. Moreover, there are some topical preventatives as well. Some injectable medications can help prevent heartworm disease. It’s always easy to prevent disease than treatment. Therefore, most vets recommend keeping your pets on preventative medications for their entire lives. Heartworm preventative medication isn’t very expensive and it is way less expensive than heartworm treatment
Treatment for Heartworms
As a pet sitter in Fort Worth, Texas I have fostered dogs recovering from heartworm treatment. It can be distressing for the dog and the owner. It is a long process as well. Vets inject drugs into dogs over several visits to kill adult heartworms. During the heartworm treatment, you must keep your dog calm and inactive. Otherwise, serious complications can occur. When dogs suffer from caval syndrome, the treatment options are limited to surgical intervention, and mostly the disease leads to death. Perhaps prevention is the best option because if the disease gets worst, it will cause death.