Heartworms are a kind of roundworm that dwell in the heart, lungs, and surrounding blood vessels of infected animals, leading to heartworm disease, a potentially deadly condition. Heartworm infection can permanently harm the heart, lungs, and other bodily organs, despite the fact that it is treatable.
How heartworm is spread
When a mosquito bites a dog, it can transmit heartworm larvae to the dog. The larvae then go through the body of the dog until they come into contact with the lungs and heart’s blood arteries. The larvae remain in those blood arteries for around 6 months, during which time they develop into adult heartworms that can grow to be up to 12 inches long. As adult heartworms multiply and release young heartworms into the blood of a dog, the cycle is continued when a mosquito bites the dog.
The higher your dog’s prospects of recovery, the earlier heartworm illness is identified. Also, it’s crucial to test your dog every year because there aren’t many if any, early indications of the condition. Heartworms can be detected by a quick blood test.
If your dog does exhibit heartworm disease symptoms, they may include coughing, an aversion to physical activity, and poor physical condition.
Giving your dog a heartworm preventative on the same day each month is crucial for protecting him against the disease. It is advisable to take into account a mosquito-repelling product as well, as this will aid in keeping your dog from getting bitten in the first place.
We’ll check for heartworms during your dog’s yearly preventive care appointment to be sure the preventive has been successful. Your dog will be at increased risk of heartworm infection if:
- A dose of preventive medication was missed
- A dose of preventive medication was given late
- The preventive was spit out or vomited by the dog
- Heartworm infections can grow more severe the longer they go untreated. Long after they have been treated and are gone, heartworms can still have an impact on a dog’s health and quality of life.
Call us if your dog needs a heartworm test or yearly preventive care appointment, if you need a refill for their heartworm preventative, or if your puppy is displaying symptoms that might indicate a heartworm infection.