Like many other parasitic diseases, pets also suffer from heartworms. Dogs, cats, ferrets and horses get infection from an infected mosquito bite. Heartworm is a dangerous disease that can even kill pets if proper treatment and prevention measures are not taken.
Dogs are more susceptible to heartworm disease compared to other animals like cats. The infection can leave dogs ill and in the most severe conditions can cause death. Dogs are not as resistant as cats to heartworms as these worms easily survive and thrive inside dog’s body.
Provide Heartworm Medication
Make necessary arrangements to administer medications on dogs at your vet’s office to prevent heartworms. These worms not only affect the heart but also the lungs. Some of the heartworm treatment is available in injections, and others are given orally. For prevention, heartworm topical solutions are also available. Most of the preventive medications of heartworm infection are effective but they should not be administered to dogs that are already infected from heartworms as this may result into serious complications.
- Dogs in early stages of heartworm infection may not exhibit symptoms. It is better to diagnose the disease before starting the treatment. Infected dogs may display – a mild, persistent cough, difficulty in breathing after mild exercise, lack of appetite, and weight loss.
- If you live in a warmer climate, it is better to treat your dog with heartworm prevention medication throughout the year. With changing climatic conditions, mosquito-breeding seasons are getting longer even in the North.
- In hot weather, dogs prefer to go out. During this period, most of the times, they are outdoors running around and playing. So, it becomes necessary to treat them regularly.
- However, there are dogs that are almost indoors. This decreases the risk of heartworm infection. Nevertheless, they need to be treated too as they are porn to mosquito bites when they go out to urinate or defecate.
- Pet owners should not take their pets out during dusk as this is the peak time when mosquitoes bite.
- According to a study, indoors dogs are porn to heartworm infestation as outdoor dogs. Therefore, a monthly preventive helps to provide protection against heartworm infestation.
- If your house is located near a pond, stream, lake or heavily wooded area, treat dogs with heartworm medications regularly.
- Limit your dog from going out at night as it is the peak time when mosquitoes that transmit heartworm are active.
There are four heartworm preventive products approved in the USA for treating dogs.
- Heartgard for dogs – Heartgard is flavored chewable tablets. Do not use Heartgard for dog product on cats, as they are very different due to composition of the active ingredients present in the medication.
- Interceptor – Interceptor is again monthly preventive tablets.
- Revolution – This topical solution kills heartworm larvae apart from other parasites such as intestinal worms. It also prevents fleas and ear mites in dogs.
- Advantage Multi – is once a month topical treatment for dogs. It prevents both fleas and heartworm infection.
Additional benefit of heartworm preventives is that it prevents intestinal worms and fleas apart from controlling heartworms. Though heartworm treatment is available, prevention is not expensive and can spare your dog from unnecessary pain.
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