What Every Dog Owner Needs to Know About Heartworm
Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal condition that can affect dogs. While it's not particularly common, it is something that all dog owners need to be aware of. In this post, we'll discuss what heartworm is, how you can prevent it from affecting your dog, and what the signs are if your pup does contract the disease.
What Is Heartworm?
Heartworm is a parasite that lives in the heart and lungs of infected animals. The parasite is spread by mosquitoes, which take blood meals from infected animals and then transmit the parasites to other animals when they bite them. It's important to note that while cats can also get heartworms, they do so less frequently than dogs do.
How Can You Prevent Heartworms?
Fortunately, there are plenty of steps you can take to reduce your pup’s risk of getting heartworms. The primary way to prevent heartworms is through regular monthly treatments with a heartworm preventive medicine. These medications kill any larvae that your dog may have been exposed to before they become adult worms. Additionally, keeping your pet away from areas where mosquitoes breed (such as standing water) and having them wear insect repellent during tick season can help reduce their exposure to infected insects even further.
We strongly recommend AGAINST using heart worm medications that are in the isoxazoline or spinosad class as those are associated with adverse neurological effects, including seizures. We recommend Advantage Multi or Heartguard Plus only.
Signs Your Dog Has Heartworms
If your dog has contracted heartworms, there are certain signs you should look out for. These include coughing or difficulty breathing due to lung involvement; fatigue; loss of appetite; weight loss; and anemia due to blood loss/damage caused by the infection itself. If you notice any of these symptoms in your pet, you should take them to see a veterinarian right away for diagnosis and treatment.
Heartworm disease is a serious but preventable condition in dogs. To keep your pup healthy and happy, make sure they get routine preventive treatments with a veterinarian-approved medication as well as avoiding areas where mosquitoes breed and wearing insect repellent during tick season! Additionally, if you notice any unusual symptoms in your dog—such as coughing or difficulty breathing—take them for a checkup right away just in case it’s related to heartworms or another health issue requiring veterinary attention. By taking these steps, you’ll be doing all you can to keep your best friend safe from this potentially deadly parasite.