Heartworm is very serious; it’s one of the worst diagnosis for your dog because it is usually fatal. However, it is very simple to prevent heartworm from ever occurring. All it takes is a pill, food additive and some preventative care. The heartworm pill can be given to your bird dogs as a treat while liquids and powders can be added to your dog’s food on a regular schedule, which will depend on the treatment type.
These parasites live in your pets body and left untreated can affect your dogs tissues and major organs – in fact if left untreated typically death is from the disease attacking your pets heart. Coyotes, foxes and even mosquitoes can carry heartworm infections and pass them on to your dog. Unfortunately, heartworm is very difficult to detect and your best offense is a regular preventative treatment.
Prevention as treatment is the best bet for heartworm. You can find convenients pills and food additives. Also, make sure to keep his areas clean and give regular baths. Although most people administer heartworm medication in the sumer months, veterinarians believe tthat giving your dog the medicine every month is just as easy and more effective.
Symptoms of Heartworm
One of the first symptoms you may notice is weight loss, lack of energy, or excessive coughs. As the parasite attacks the dog’s lungs or respiratory system, the cough will become more severe. And as it reaches other areas of the body, symptoms will worsen. In the first few months, the heartworm infection usually goes unnoticed because parasites are too busy propagating and haven’t yet spread to show the symptoms in the dog.
A veterinarian will be able to diagnose a dog with heartworm through observation and blood tests. Treatment options will be based on whether the infection is male or female since they must be treated according to infection type. A double test will be done not only to determine whether male or female, but also to determine worm count. This will also how far the infection has advanced.
After diagnosis, heartworm treatment must begin right away. Otherwise, the infected dog can spread the disease to other dogs. Treatment will vary depending on worm count and the stage of the disease. An otherwise healthy dog will most likely live through the treatment, but an unhealth one has almost no chance of surviving. Treatment may not work if the parasites have affected too many organs or if the worm count has become too high. Prevention and early treatment is the best way to treat heartworm.
If any other dogs are living with or around the infected dog, they should be tested immediately for heartworm as well. It spreads quickly from one dog to the next, so testing is important. People should be tested as well, as humans are also capable of getting heartworm.
While heartworm is a potentially deadly parasite, prevention is the secret to keeping your dog from contracting it.