Heartworms are common yet dreadful endoparasites that infect canines and felines. These parasites are found in all 50 states of America. They are spread through nearly 60 species of mosquitoes which transmit heartworm larvae in cats, dogs and ferrets. They spread their immature life in the blood stream of the infected animal and spend their adult life large blood vessel and right ventricle of the heart of the infected pet.
Hazards of heartworms in dogs:
Heartworms do not show any visible signs until they have matured in the pet’s body. It takes them years to grow up into an adult form and show up symptoms of heartworm disease. Once they are adult they block the pulmonary arteries that connect heart to the lungs. They also sip into the tiny vessels of the lungs and obstruct them. In extreme cases, these worms enter the right ventricle of the heart. This way, worms damage both the organs (heart and lungs) and results in cardiac failure, respiratory problems and many other diseases.
Common symptoms of heartworm infection are:
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Lethargy and dullness
- Breathing problem
- Deep cough
- Intolerance to exercise
Treatment and prevention of heartworms:
Just like all other parasites, heartworms also need to be prevented than treated. Prevention is economical compared to the actual treatment of heartworm and heartworm disease. Some of the preventives are Valuheart, Canimax and Heartgard Plus for dogs. Talking about Heartgard Plus, it is a very popular heartworm preventive for all sizes of dogs. It is a beef flavored chewable that is easily taken by the pet as a treat. The palatable tablets are administered on a monthly basis for prevention of heartworm infection.
How to administer Heartgard Plus for dogs?
Before starting any heartworm preventive, you must get your pet tested for an existing heartworm infection. If the test is positive then you need to treat it first. On getting a negative result of the test, one must start the preventive at the earliest. You must give these Heartgard Plus Chewables every month, if possible then on the same date. Made up of Ivermectin and Pyrantel, these chews are excellent for wiping out heartworm parasites.
To conclude, heartworms are internal parasites that infect all sizes and breeds of dogs. They are spread through mosquito bites and affect the pet’s heart and lungs. When not treated they can result in cardiac problems, respiratory problems and death of the pet. It is thus important to keep these worms at bay through preventives like Heartgard Plus for dogs, Nuheart Generic Heartgard for Dogs etc. But, before that the first thing is to consult a vet and check whether the dog heartwormer is suitable for your pet or not. So, say bye-bye to heartworms and keep your pet’s heart happy and healthy!