Today I am going to discuss with you about how to prevent heart worm in dog’s. Then I will discuss the causes, symptoms and why it is so important that your pet be tested for heart worms and why he/she needs to be treated.
I didn’t realize how serious that heart worm in dog’s was until I seen it firsthand! This is a very serious disease for dog’s and if left untreated will ultimately cause death.
What Causes Heart Worm In Dogs?
Heart Worm in dog’s is caused by the pesky little bug called the mosquito. That’s right one bite from an infected mosquito can reek havoc on your pooch.
The mosquito bites and infected animal within the canine community, for instance dog’s, foxes, wolves, etc. ingesting the baby worms which grow inside the mosquito for the next 30 days.
Then you guessed it, the infected insect bites the poor unsuspecting pooch and bam the baby worms are introduced into the pet’s bloodstream. It takes these pesky little worms about 7 months to turn into adults within your pooches bloodstream. Then they start producing their on young.
As you can see if left untreated the viscous cycle continues on and on. Once matured, the adult worms then begin to migrate to the dog’s heart and vessels. A fur baby that is left untreated can have hundreds of these nasty little worms circulating throughout his/her body.
This is why it is vitally important that your pet be checked for heart worms especially if he/she starts showing any signs/symptoms of being infected.
Your veterinarian can do a blood test to determine if your pet is infected or not, if he/she is they will have to undergo a series of injections that will kill the worms prior to starting the heart worm preventative. (Which I will discuss later in the post)
What Are the Signs/Symptoms Your Pet Might Be Infected?
Most of the time if a dog is infected with heart worm he/she may seem perfectly fine. But if the heart worm infestation is allowed to go on, the pooch may suddenly die without the owner even knowing the cause.
A lot of times the dog may start coughing for no apparent reason. What I mean by this is, usually, like humans, they will show signs/symptoms of having a cold you know, like coughing, sneezing.
If it is caused from heart worm infestation your pooch may cough, have difficulty breathing, vomiting, loss of appetite and become fatigued very easily. This in turn will cause the pooch to start loosing weight.
If the heart worm disease is left untreated your fur baby may experience CHF-better known as Congestive Heart Failure and tummy swelling due to fluid retention which is a classic sign of heart worm disease.
So why not prevent heart worm in dog’s to begin with, right?
The Importance Of Getting Your Pet Tested
The above mentioned is why it is so vitally important that you have your fur baby tested at least once per year to prevent heart worm in dog’s! I just cannot express this enough!
You might be asking yourself “Why should I have him/her tested if they are on heart preventative in the first place?” Well, because we are HUMAN and we HUMANS do make mistakes. You may forget a dose one month because you forgot to get your fur baby some more medicine which could potentially get your pet infected. It only takes one bite from one infected mosquito.
If your dog does test positive for heart worms, which is determined by a blood test, then the veterinarian will order a series of injections that will kill the worms. Your veterinarian will also order a CBC (complete blood count), urinalysis, blood chemistry test and a chest x-ray to assess your pooch’s over all health to determine the best course of action and treatment.
If your dog has a severe enough case of heart worms then he/she may have to be hospitalized. Now, I can tell you one thing this is where it starts to cost dollars!! So, it’s cheaper in the long run to prevent heart worm in dog’s to begin with;)
During this treatment however, it is very important that your dog be confined and keep him/her quiet as possible. The reason your pet needs to be inactive is that the dying and dead worms can cause other potentially harmful side effects after the pet has been running and playing.
I have experienced this firsthand it is not a pretty picture. I worked in a veterinarian office several years ago, and I have seen good dog’s/puppies have to be put down (euthanized) because the heart worm infestation was so bad:(
Why Treatment? Why Not??
I’m sure by now that you know why it is so important to have your fur baby tested and treated to prevent heart worm in dog’s.
The prevention is far cheaper than having your dog test positive and have to undergo the injections or if the infestation is severe enough your pet could end up having to undergo surgery to remove the heart worms from the heart and the blood vessels in the lungs. Talk about expense! Besides, it is terrible for our pet’s to get so sick and potentially die over something that is so preventable in the first place.
Once your pet has been tested and the test comes back negative, your veterinarian will discuss treatment options and prescribe a monthly oral regimen to treat your dog and prevent this horrible disease.
I felt this was an important subject to discuss since it’s getting that time of the year for those pesky mosquitoes. This is something I hold near and dear to my heart. I had a dog one time that tested positive for heart worms. I had to watch him go through the series of shots and it was hard to keep him quiet because he was a puppy!
So, I am imploring you to PLEASE have your fur baby tested and start the treatment to prevent heart worm in dog’s. It’s one of the best things you could ever do for your animal and less expensive.
There are several different types of heart worm preventative medications on the market today. Talking with your veterinarian can help you and he decide the best medication to put your pet on.
If you would like to save on your pet’s medication and get FREE shipping this would be a really great option for you
Thanks so much for stopping by and reading my post. It is my intention to give you the best up to date information so that you can make an informed decision regarding your pet’s health and safety.
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