Both cats and dogs suffer from heartworms, one of the major causes of death for these pets. It’s actually a parasite whose larvae are transmitted to dogs, through a mosquito that is infected.
In order for the heartworm to grow and reach adulthood, it needs to be ingested by the mosquito at the right time in its development.
After he infects the dog, the heartworm will infiltrate the bloodstream, while continuing to grow. They will only reach the heart ventricle if they are grown enough, so they need to be adults to be capable of this. Once they reach that area, they will proliferate, while continuing to grow. They can stay in the lungs or heart of a dog for as long as 7 years.
Prevention is the best method of treating heartworm in dogs and you will find a number of products for sale, which work to prevent it, along with a number of other parasites, like the hook or ring worms. You can research this on your own, deciding on the product and brand that might work best for your dog.
As they continue to grow, these heartworms will overload the dog’s lungs and heart, so it becomes harmful to them. The length of the heartworm can vary from 5 to 14 inches. As they continue to grow and multiply, these heartworms will eventually provoke a stroke or heart attack for the dog, as they clog up the arteries in his body.
The treatment for this disease is dangerous in itself, since most solutions used that are effective will contain arsenic. The dog can be quite miserable while you try to cure him of heartworm, since the process is difficult. If the cure works and they survive the treatment, they will be even healthier than they were before.
Prevention is the best way to treat it, but it can be difficult to diagnose once it appears, since there aren’t that many symptoms to work with. If it’s diagnosed late, the treatment process will be painful, but there isn’t another way to do it right now.
You can use Heartguard and other similar prevention medicine, to try to protect the dog from heartworm infections. You should also do a blood test each year if possible, to look for any signs of infections.
Before giving prevention medicine to a dog, you need to test him for heartworms first. Otherwise, you risk killing your dog. Testing should be done once every 1-2 years, and preventives given regularly, so the dog doesn’t get heartworms, and he can live a healthy and happy life!