With the climate in this region, heartworm disease is an ongoing issue. Heartworm disease develops when a dog is bitten by a mosquito carrying microscopic heartworm larvae. The larvae are then deposited into the dog and quickly begin their migration into the dog’s bloodstream. Once in the bloodstream the larvae makes their way to the heart and pulmonary (lung) arteries. As the larvae develop within the arteries and lungs, the dog will then begin to develop symptoms. The symptoms are mild in the beginning, but as the larvae become adult worms, the pet is put into distress, with more apparent issues.
Heartworm disease can be prevented by giving a timely dose of medication each month. The medication is usually in the form of tablets. The preventatives are highly effective, safe, easy to use, relatively inexpensive, and often provide treatment for additional parasites. Prevention is always safer and more affordable than having to treat pets infected with heartworms.
Since the disease is undetectable by the human eye, a simple test can save your friends life. Your veterinarian can take a few drops of blood and have an answer within 10-15 minutes. With heartworm disease capable of doing so much damage to the heart and lungs, early detection is key to minimizing stress put on these organs. Your pet depends on you for his comfort and safety, so do him a favor and have him checked today.
Symptoms of Advanced Heartworms:
- Shortness of breath
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Abdominal swelling
- Congestive heart failure