Identifying the symptoms of dog heartworm

In the United States, one common canine disease is dog heartworm. Dog heartworm was first discovered in 1856. Heartworms in dogs are often found residing in the dog’s heart and the major blood vessels.

The heartworms in dogs can seriously prevent a dog’s heart from functioning properly. In worst cases, dog heartworms can cause blockage in the blood vessels. Dogs with heartworms tend to lose weight, have chronic coughing, be short of breath, develop chronic heart failure, have problems with their vision and eventually die.

Early Signs of Dog Heartworm

The signs or symptoms of dog heartworm are not the same for every dog, so the best coming to do is to take your dog to a veterinarian for proper diagnosis. Be aware that most dogs with heartworm problems tend to exhibit visible symptoms of the disease only when it is too late for it to be cured. Thus, when it comes to heartworms in dogs, early detection is important so that treatment for dog heartworms can be administered quickly.

Below are some of the early signs of dog heartworm. If your dog shows any of these dog heartworm symptoms, don’t hesitate to take him to your veterinarian.

*>*>*>*>*>* Your dog becomes emaciated, a serious symptom of dog heartworm that is often followed by death.

What Dogs Can Become Infected by Dog Heartworms?

Years ago, it was believed that short-haired dogs were more prone to becoming infected by dog heartworms. The long-hair dogs were thought to be resistant to dog heartworms since the worm-carrying mosquitoes had a much more difficult time penetrating through their hair. However, this belief has been disproved. Both long-haired and short-haired dogs can become infected by dog heartworms since mosquitoes attack on a dog’s abdominal area. Both long-haired and short-haired dogs tend to have lesser hair in the abdominal area. In addition, the muzzle and ears are other areas where the infection can begin.

Treatment for Dog Heartworms

If detected early enough, dog heartworm can be treated using chemical therapy. Heartworm treatment is usually administered over a period of time. The heartworms are not killed in one fell swoop as the dead worms would end up being deposited into the lungs and kill the dog. In addition, the chemicals used to kill the heartworms in dogs can also be lethal to dogs. This is why any treatment for dog heartworms that involves the use of chemicals should only be administered by a veterinarian.

Apart from chemical therapy, surgery is also a treatment option for dog heartworm. However, surgery is only done if the veterinarian warrants this need and if it is the only option for curing the dog heartworm infection.

You can also prevent your dog from developing dog heartworms through medication. There are dog pills specifically designed to destroy the heartworms inside your dog’s body so that the worms do not grow into full-blown heartworm adults. However, dog heartworm medications will not keep your dog 100% heartworm-free. Your dog can still become infected with dog heartworm during mosquito season so you would still need to keep a close eye on your dog and watch out for the early signs of dog heartworms.

Heartworm medications, however, can cause complications if your dog is already infected with heartworms. Basically, the drugs won’t do your dog any good if the heartworm infection is already serious. In this case, your best and only option is to take your dog to a veterinarian who can prescribe the right medications for your dog as well as take some blood tests.

Preventing Dog Heartworms