How to treat heartworm
Several heartworm treatments have been created in order to provide a cure for this particular kind of dangerous infection. However, more information campaign must be done in order to spread the word and further educate people (because it may also infect humans) as to what they can do to prevent this kind of parasite or how to treat it once the infection is already there.
So, what really is a heartworm? This is a parasitic roundworm which can be transferred from one host to another through mosquito bites. It is commonly found in dogs but has recently infected other animals like cats, foxes, wolves, sea lions, and yes, humans as well. Therefore, the need to uncover more about this disease and provide more effective heartworm treatment has never been more important than it is today. The disease got its name from the fact that during the adult stage of its life cycle, it stays at the pulmonary artery of the host where it can survive for several years.
The key to knowing how to combat this disease is by understanding how it develops and where it can be acquired. A reliable form of heartworm treatment is necessary because this infection could result in a serious disease that could endanger the life of its host, even death when left untreated.
This infection will go through several life stages until it turns into adult and live on the heart of its host. The heartworm then produces thousands of specimens known as microfilaria each single day, and then it would circulate to the host’s bloodstream. The host then becomes a carrier of this infection, and when bitten by another mosquito, it is now very likely that the mosquito will transfer that into some other potential victim. Once they reach the bloodstream, heartworms increase in size over a 3-4 month period.
Diagnosis is crucial in helping treat heartworm infection. Look out for signs or symptoms on your pets or animals, in order to have it receive the necessary heartworm treatment. However, dogs infected with heartworm does not reveal any signs until the worms have reached maturation or at least after a 6 month period. During this stage, the animal will show a sedentary lifestyle. So, when your previously active dogs suddenly show some weakness or inactivity, then this is a classic symptom for a heartworm disease. Among those other symptoms are cough and exhaustion. For advanced stages of the infection, there will be weight loss, coughing up blood, fainting, and heart failure.
Before undergoing heartworm treatment, dogs or other animals must go through evaluation for various organs like heart, kidney and liver function to calculate the risks involved. Then, adult worms are treated by arsenic-based compound. There are several approved drugs in the market that would help treat heartworm infection.
After undergoing heartworm treatment, dogs must then rest for a few weeks, just enough time to enable it to recuperate from the treatment and to prevent any ill effects on the dog’s body. Meanwhile, the microfilaria is dealt with on a separate form of treatment. For cats infected with heartworm, there are three types of approved drugs for use: ivermectin, milbemycin and selamectin.
With the great risk it poses to our health, not only to animals, more and more tests are done in order to create the most efficient heartworm treatment there is, which could potentially save a lot of lives.