Heart worms in Dogs - What They Are & What to Do For Your Pet
Heart worms are parasitic worms that happen to be well-known in both cats and dogs. Like their specific name suggests, they reside in the animals heart, usually free-floating inside the right ventricle and also surrounding blood vessels. The worms can be transmitted from dog to dog from mosquitoes which pass the worm larvae through their saliva. Currently the presence of this worm can be very dangerous to your dog's health. Despite the fact that the pet will not display signs of illness until it has advanced considerably, this parasite can easily be deadly and are sometimes hard to detect and diagnose.
Symptoms of Infection of Heart worms in Dogs:
When a dog is first carrying the parasitic worm, your dog will show no signs.Even a blood test can't detected them in the beginning stages. When the worm larva reaches the heart and matures, however, signs that are detectible by X-ray start to develop quickly. This also includes damage to the blood vessels around the heart and lungs. It is rare that your dog will be infected by only one worm and because the mature worms within the heart grow larger and number, the conditions worsen, eventually causing a blockage of blood flow. It is typically at this point where the dog will begin to display physical signs which can include pain, hypertension, trouble with breathing, lethargy or even fainting. In extremely progressed cases the puppy or dog can end up with having a major heart problem by the time this disease has reached this stage and the owner has probably realized that something is happening and sought veterinary care,but in some cases this might be to late and the dog has died.
Treating The Worms in Dogs:
After the dog is diagnosed as having heart worms, treatment needs to be started. What this treatment is and just how it is administered depends on the stage of the infection.
Generally, there are four stages of this disease.
Stage One - Dogs at the lowest risk - the worms are detected in X-rays but all other tests appear normal.
Stage Two - Dogs are moderately infected, sometimes have some difficulty breathing and be demonstrating coughing.
Stage Three - Dogs are severely affected & may display weight reduction, have a problem breathing, blood tests likely show kidney and/or liver damage.
Stage Four - Dogs have Vena Cava Syndrome and are also in shock, essentially dying - surgery may be undertaken to get rid of worms, but there is no promise that it'll save your dog.
In the case of heart worms in dogs, prevention truly is one of the best medicine. The perfect time to start with a preventative treatment is at the start of puppy-hood, before the dog is seven months old since dogs older than seven months are at a great risk for side effects to the preventative treatments.
Tips on how to Prevent Heart worms in Dogs:
Regular preventive treatments work nicely and are highly recommended by veterinarians. They'll save you the expense of rescue treatments, and more importantly, could possibly help your pet avoid a great deal of pain. The majority of preventive treatments kill any immature worms that enter the body, before they have a chance to grow and cause serious damage. Besides, most monthly heart worm preventives have activity against intestinal parasites, as stated by the American Heart worm Society (AHS). Many of these intestinal parasites could also infect people--another good reason to utilize preventive treatments.There are a number of FDA-approved heart worm preventives in the marketplace, in a wide variety of different formulations. These include daily or monthly chewable tablets like HeartGuard or monthly topical (skin) treatments. In case you have trouble remembering a monthly treatment, ask your vet about injections that provide protection up to six months. Your veterinarian can help choose the best preventive treatment and method of administration for your own dog.Before placing your family dog on heart worm preventive, your veterinarian will likely conduct a simple blood screening to make certain your puppy isn't already infected. Using preventive treatments with infected dogs won't kill existing adult heart worms and may cause severe complications. Your veterinarian may schedule regular tests in the future to ensure your canine remains heart worm free.
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