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Heartworm Awareness: Keeping Your Dog Safe and Healthy

Heartworm is a common disease that affects over 1 million pets across the United States. To combat this unfavorable illness, it’s important to fully understand the health hazards associated with it and the preventative measures you can take to protect your dog. 

How Dogs Develop Heartworms 

Heartworms are carried by infected mosquitoes that unwittingly store the heartworms in their mouths, making it easy to transmit the heartworms when they bite a dog. Once a dog is bitten, the heartworm larvae move through the dog’s bloodstream towards the heart where they settle, mature, and multiply, causing heartworm disease. It may be hard to tell that your dog has heartworms until the disease progresses and begins showing signs, or until your dog is thoroughly examined by a veterinary professional. 

Symptoms of Heartworm Disease in Dogs 

Not all dog’s will display symptoms of heartworm disease. In many cases, the signs will begin appearing once the heartworms have progressed. The symptoms of heartworm may include: 

– Mild, continuous coughing 

– Resistance to physical activity 

– Extreme lethargy after small movements and activity 

– No appetite or unwillingness to eat 

– Noticeable weight loss 

If these symptoms become noticeable in your dog, it’s critical to consult with a veterinarian as soon as possible. When heartworms are left untreated, they can progress and cause severe issues for your pet, including organ failure and even death. 

Heartworm Prevention for Dogs 

The importance of heartworm prevention cannot be stressed enough. It’s the most effective way to prevent this unfortunate and costly occurrence, and it keeps your pet healthy and happy for as long as possible. Heartworm prevention comes in several forms of FDA-approved medications, including topical treatments, oral tablets, and injections given by your veterinarian. It’s important to consult with your veterinarian on the best course of action for your dog, and to have your dog tested for heartworms if they have never been on medication before. 

To learn more about heartworm disease and heartworm prevention for your dog, contact your trusted veterinarian today to set up an appointment today.