Protecting Your Dog from Heartworm Disease
As a pet owner, it is your responsibility to look out for the health and wellbeing of your beloved pup. One of the most important things you can do is to ensure that your dog is protected from heartworm disease. Heartworm is a serious and potentially deadly condition that affects over 250,000 dogs each year in the US alone. But with proper prevention, diagnosis, and treatment, you can keep your pup safe from this dangerous illness.
What Is Heartworm?
Heartworm is a parasitic roundworm spread by mosquitoes. The larvae enter through mosquito bites and make their way into the bloodstream where they eventually reach the heart and lungs of an infected animal. Once there, they grow into adult worms that can cause damage to vital organs if left untreated. Symptoms of heartworm include coughing, difficulty breathing, weight loss, fatigue, and reduced appetite.
Prevention Is Key
The best way to protect your pooch from heartworms is to start them on a preventative medication as soon as possible after their first vet visit. Most vets recommend giving puppies their first dose at 12 weeks old since this is when they become susceptible to infection. For adult dogs, it’s important to have them tested annually for heartworms so that any potential infections can be detected early and treated accordingly. Good preventative care also involves reducing exposure to mosquitoes by keeping pets indoors during peak times (dusk to dawn) or using insect repellents when outdoors.
If your pup does test positive for heartworms, don’t panic—it’s not a death sentence! With proper care and treatment there’s still hope for your furry friend. Treatment typically involves two stages: killing the adult worms (which can take several months) followed by clearing any remaining larvae from the body (which may take several more months). Treatment options vary depending on the severity of infection but often include oral medication or injections administered by a veterinarian as well as rest and limited activity while undergoing treatment.
We strongly recommend AGAINST using heart worm medications that are in the isoxazoline or spinosad class as those are associated with adverse neurological effects, including seizures. We recommend Advantage Multi or Heartguard Plus only.
To sum up, protecting your dog from heartworms should be one of your top priorities as a pet owner. Start off with preventative medication at 12 weeks old if possible and have them tested annually thereafter if needed; reduce exposure to mosquitoes whenever possible; and seek professional advice immediately if there are any signs of infection so that proper treatment can begin right away! By taking these steps you will be sure that you’re doing all you can to keep your pup safe from this serious condition!