Heartworm disease is a very common and dangerous disease dogs suffer from. If early steps are not taken to protect your furry pal from this disease, it may lead to critical situation. Some pet parents think that their indoor dogs are safe and do not require any preventive measure to protect them against heartworms. It’s a false assumption. Many veterinarians suggest that every dog should be on heartworm prevention for an entire year. Here is a brief on heartworm disease and why preventive measures are far better than treatment.
What is Heartworm?
Heartworms are deadly parasites. Heartworms are transmitted by a mosquito. When a mosquito bites an infected animal the immature heartworm enters the mosquito body. Within two weeks, the immature heartworm (microfilariae) develops into infective larvae within the body of mosquito. As soon as a mosquito comes in contact with a healthy dog, it bites the dog and transmits the infective larvae inside the dog’s body. Within 6 months these larvae mature into adult heartworms in dog’s body. It travels through the dog’s body reaching the blood vessels and damages the blood vessels. As a result, heart rate lowers. When the pumping of heart decreases, it results into major lung and heart disease.
Symptoms of Heartworm
Symptoms are not easily visible at an initial stage. Over the period of time the signs are visible such as :
Why Prevention Is Better Than Treatment?
Preventive measures are comparatively cheaper and less stressful for your dog than treatment. Preventive measures are easy to implement and are not at all painful compared to treatment. But prior to preventive measures your dog needs to be checked once whether he or she is infected with heartworms or not. A simple blood test is done to detect the heartworm infection in a dog. If the result comes negative you can start the preventive measure which includes the following:
Regular Blood Test
Your vet will advise you to go for some regular blood test. A regular test will help to diagnose the disease.
There are various products widely used as preventive treatments that are available on the market. Some top most products which are highly effective, safe and easy to administer are Advantage Multi (Advocate), Comfortis Plus and Heartgard Plus.
Dog Exposure To Mosquito: Restrict your dog’s exposure to the area where chances of getting mosquito bite is more. You can even use the product like k9 Advantix to kill and repel mosquito. This will protect your dog from a mosquito bite.
Heartworm disease is quite difficult to recognize at an early stage that’s why it is always suggested to take the preventive measures.