Heartworms in Dogs
Veterinarians often advise dog owners to keep their pets away from mosquitoes, especially during the winter season, and protect them from mosquito bites. Many dog owners often wonder how a mosquito bite could be harmful to their dog; however, they do not know that mosquito bites can cause heartworm disease in dogs.
What is the Cause of Heartworms in Dogs?
Heartworm in dogs is a parasitic roundworm known as Dirofilaria immitis that not only infects the heart of the dog but also affects the rest of the vital organs in a dog’s body. It is the bites of mosquitoes that results in the transmission of this parasite, and it even spread from one dog to another or in rare cases humans as well.
What are the Symptoms of Heartworms in Dogs?
The symptoms of heartworm disease in dogs tend to show because of two main mechanisms. Firstly, the pulmonary arteries, i.e. the arteries in the lungs are damaged by the worm. Secondly, the heartworms inflame the arteries obstructing the blood flow.
Detectable or visible signs that a dog is infected with a heartworm might not show at first. Symptoms of heartworm begin showing at a much later stage, which is the scary thing about this disease. If a dog is unnaturally coughing it is a major sign that it is suffering from heartworm disease. Dogs usually find it hard to breathe and cough because their lungs are surrounded by the parasites that irritate them.
Along with prolonged coughing, if a dog becomes less active, then also it might be infected with heartworms. The internal bodily organs and systems are weakened by the worms; therefore, dogs experience pain, so they avoid being active.
How Can of Heartworms in Dogs Be Treated?
Treating heartworm disease in dogs can take quite a long time and usually dog owners usually spend a lot of money on the treatment. The best way to get rid of the heartworms is to take the dog to a vet and ensure that it is properly diagnosed.
The most effective treatment for heartworms is Immiticide, which is an injection that dogs are injected with twice or thrice in a 24 to 48 hour period during which they are monitored by the vet. Often medication known as adulticides can also be used to treat heartworms if this disease is caught in the early stages. While treating heartworm disease might be necessary in certain cases, however, preventing it from occurring is a much better solution.
How to Prevent Heartworm Disease in Dogs?
One of the most ideal ways of protecting dogs from getting infected with heartworms is to use measures to prevent mosquitoes from entering the house and using anti-mosquito products. However, this might not be possible, especially during the winter season; therefore, dogs should be given protective oral medication or should be vaccinated before hand.
Heartworm disease is quite a painful problem for the dogs, and the worst part about it is that it is so hard to diagnose. Heartworms in dogs can also prove to be fatal to the dog; therefore, pet owners should be careful and do their best to prevent their dog from getting infected.