Heartworms are a common but a danger to the dog’s health. They are the worst kind of parasites that attack on the dog’s body but are totally preventable. Heartworms infections are spread by mosquitoes.
Heartworms house in the bloodstream of dog’s heart and blood vessels. They can grow up 10-12 inches in length and can live for 7 years in the dog’s heart. Adult heartworms treats dogs as a definitive host and produce off springs, known as microfilariae. This microfilaria is the way to infect other pets, by biting from one dog to another. There are very less chances that an infected dog is going to show early signs of infection.
Understanding And Treating Heartworms In Dogs
Heartworm infection is a serious issue in dogs as it restricts the flow of blood in the heart causing damage to the internal body parts. It weakens the heart as it has to pump more blood which may lead to heart failure.
Symptoms of heartworms in dogs are:
1. Difficulty breathing
4. Anorexia (Weight Loss)
5. Rough hair coat
6. Allergic reaction
Facts About Heartworm Treatment in Pets
- Treating heartworms is quite risky and expensive. All the dog owners can’t afford the treatment and it takes at least 2 months for them to undergo the entire process. After that 1 month is sort of observation for them whether the treatment have effectively worked or not.
- Heartworm treatment only kills adult worms effectively but to kill the larvae and small worms a series of drug injection are given to the dog.
- There is only one drug that has been approved by the FDA to kill adult heartworms in dogs.
- In some severe cases, surgery might be required which is both expensive and fatal for the dog.
- It is more difficult and costly to treat heartworms while prevention of the same is much cheap
- To avoid any repercussions after the treatment, dog should not undergo any physical work or exercise and should be kept in cage under observation for 2 months.
Preventing Heartworms in Dogs
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” – Benjamin Franklin
Living up to the above quote is quite easy and simple. In USA, heartworms have been diagnosed in all the 50 states. For betterment of your dog’s health why take any risk. Spending a few bucks which can guarantee your pooch’s health is way better than spending a lot on their treatment.
Prevention treatment of dogs can begin when they are at least 8 weeks old.
There are various medications that can be provided to dogs which the approval of vet for preventing heartworms. Some of them are:
Heartworm Preventatives for Dogs
1. Advantage Multi (Advocate) for Dogs
Its a monthly spot on treatment for dogs which comes in different package depending upon the size of the pooch. Advantage Multi for Dogs is used to prevent heartworm infections as well as treatment against fleas and other parasites
2. Heartgard Plus for Dogs
It is a heartworm preventive treatment. It is also a monthly treatment, which aids the immature stages of heartworms. Nuheart is a version of Heartgard which destroys the heartworm larvae and prevents the infection from spreading.
3. Revolution for Dogs
It is a heartworm preventive, effectively works on all the dogs irrespective of age, size and breed. Revolution for Dogs is used for multiple purpose. It also cures and prevents infestation of other parasites in dogs.