Heartworm disease is a potentially fatal disease caused by the bite of an infected mosquito. These parasitic worms live in the arteries of the dog’s lungs and other internal organs. It can take just one bite to infect your dog, which is why prevention is so important. The disease is fatal if left untreated, and can cause lung disease, heart failure, and organ damage. Heartworms are only spread from mosquito to dog, and are not contagious to people or other animals.
Preventing the Disease
It is much easier to prevent this disease than it is to treat it. Get your dog started on a monthly heartworm preventative as soon as possible. Your vet will want to test your dog for heartworms before prescribing the preventative. Preventatives are a low-cost, easy way to protect your beloved dog from this terrible disease.
- Talk to your vet and get a prescription for monthly preventatives.
- Keep your dog primarily indoors. Outdoor dogs are susceptible to all kinds of dangers and parasites.
- Every unprotected dog is at risk of contracting heartworms, regardless of your location, what season it is, and whether your dog lives primarily indoors or outdoors. No matter what, remember that monthly dose.
So Your Dog Has Heartworms. What Now?
Heartworm disease is not a death sentence if found in time. In fact, most cases that are caught early enough can be successfully treated. Treatment is expensive and will be grueling for your dog. The course of the treatment usually takes several months, and your dog will not be able to run and play during that time.
- Don’t waste any time getting started on treatment. The longer you wait, the worse the heartworm burden will be and the riskier treatment becomes.
- Get quotes from several vets and compare their pricing and treatments options. Both factors can vary among veterinary practices.
- Heed your vet’s warnings to keep your dog calm during treatment. An increased heart rate can cause dangerous inflammation or a life-threatening pulmonary embolism.
- If you have other dogs that have not yet tested positive for heartworms, get them on preventatives immediately. The only thing worse than one heartworm positive dog is two.
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