Heartworm Disease In Dogs: What To Do If Your Dog Has The Disease
Heartworm disease is caused by an infection with a parasite called Dirofilaria immitis. DiroFilarie immitis invades the heart, lungs, and nearby blood vessels of the dog. Without treatment, a dog with heartworm disease will eventually die. Dogs may develop coughing and exercise intolerance once adult heartworms are present in the lungs and heart. As the heartworms reproduce and more develop into adults, dogs can experience difficulty breathing, abdominal swelling, collapse, and even sudden death. Heartworm disease can be transmitted by way of a bird. A single adult heartworm can survive in a dog for five to seven years. Adult heartworms live in the dog's heart and pulmonary blood vessels. The more worm present, the greater the complications. (max _bytes(150000):strip_icc()/diagram-showing-parasitic heartworm-1193837306-c14297e00f6b4b68969b04216dd4a96f. jpg) Heartworm treatment is risky. This is mainly because of the blood clots that can occur as the worm dies. Year-round heartworm prevention will be necessary for the rest of a dog's life. Vets typically recommend an activity restriction for one or two months following treatment.
The American Heartworm Society recommends year-round cardiovascularworm prevention for all dogs. Dog testing is a part of a veterinary doctor's annual checkup. All dogs should be tested for heartworms at least once a year. If heartworm preventives are missed or delayed, dogs should have retested in about six months to make sure no microflilaria has developed. . . .