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How is Heartworm transmitted for Dogs

What is a Heartworm and How it is Transmitted?

What is a Heartworm and How it is Transmitted?

There are many complications that you should try to avoid when you have a pet and one of them is heartworm disease. Unfortunately, this specific complication can be hard to track because it usually is transmitted to animals by mosquitos. No animal is safe from this problem especially we live in a tropical country and it is important you determine the problem early on.

How do they get transmitted to my pet?

The heartworm disease is transmitted to animals by an infected mosquito. It affects your pet’s heart and lungs. One bite from an infected mosquito is enough to get your pet infected by this disease.

How do heartworms get into your pet’s body?

Once an infected mosquito bites your pet, the larvae will be transmitted to your pet’s skin and enter the wound once the mosquito flies away. When the larvae is inside your pet’s body, it will take 70 days before it reaches their heart and lungs where they will grow.

Usually, heartworms take 6 months before they mature and can live up to 7 years. The sizes of these heartworms can even be as long as 12 inches long.

What are the symptoms of heartworms?

It can be hard to tell if your dog has heartworm because some do not show signs until the situation is severe. However, here are some of the signs you can note :

- Constant coughing
- Fatigue
- Fainting
- Loss of appetite
- Loss of weight
- Sudden moodiness
- Bloated stomach caused by excess water

How can my pets be treated?

Considering the target of this disease and the lack of symptoms it creates until it is too late, it is crucial that you check with your veterinarian regularly to see if your pet has the heartworm disease.

Some veterinarians may require you to give your pets a heartworm prevention medication, like Revolution Spot On treatment, Simparica Trio to prevent the onset of parasites in your pet’s body because prevention is the best treatment for the disease. 

For serious cases, a surgical intervention is required to help your pet survive the infection.

Can I test my pet if they have heartworms?

When you bring your pets to the vet, they can do the heartworm antigen test to detect any infections for pets 7 months old and up. The test is usually done yearly and once an infection is detected, the vet will immediately prescribe treatment which can be very expensive.

If the test proves negative, the test will still be done yearly and your vet may recommend prevention medication.

What else can I do to prevent heartworms?

Prescription medication is available to help pet owners prevent heartworm disease on their pets. Some can be ingested while others can be injected or applied on their pet’s skin, like Advocate or Nexgard Spectra

You can also cover your pets with special protection blankets like the Insect Shield Flea and Tick Protection Blanket for Cats and Dogs. Regular cleaning can also help prevent mosquitoes from staying around your home.

As pet owners, it is important that we are always on the lookout for anything that can harm our pets in the long run and get them regularly checked. If we don’t, diseases like the heartworm disease can cause fatal damage in our pets and put them in danger if it is not detected immediately.

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