Veterinarians Near By Me | Facts About Heartworm
Even though heartworm is on the rise throughout the United States says veterinarians near by me. This does not have to be the case. Because heartworm is completely preventable.
However, pet owners should understand what heartworm is. And how their pets might end up getting this parasitic disease.
The only one way that dogs and cats can get heartworm. Is through the bite of a mosquito that is carrying dirofilaria larva.
Which happens, when a mosquito bites an infected animal. The larva that the mosquito hatches, will hatch already infected with heartworm larva.
As the mosquitoes go on to bite other healthy animals. They will transferred the dirofilaria larva into the animal. And in the bloodstream, the larva will grow into mature heartworm adults.
This process takes approximately 7 months. And when the heartworm is mature. It will then crawl into an opening in 1 of the animals organs. Most typically the heart and lungs. Which is where the heartworm gets its name.
Once in the organ, the heartworm can live for 5 to 7 years in a dog. And 2 to 3 years in a cat. Where it will live and reproduce, infecting the animal with more heartworm larva. That will grow and infect the animal more.
Veterinarians near by me say that an animal can live for a long period of time with heartworm. And will only start to exhibit symptoms when the heartworm’s are starting to affect the animals organs.
At this point, they will start exhibiting symptoms such as coughing and having difficulty breathing. When the heartworm’s are in the animals lungs. Dogs will appear lethargic and will lose weight.
While cats on the other hand will refuse food, vomit, and start to faint and have seizures. Cats also may show difficulty in walking, in addition to losing weight and coughing.
At this stage, the pets health is quite compromised. And treatment can become more difficult as well as risky. However, without treatment, the heartworm’s will continue to grow until organ failure is inevitable.
If pet owners are able to find out that their pet is infected with heartworm before this stage however. Treatment is generally quite successful.
How pet owners can test their animals for heartworm. Is through a simple blood test that can be done by going to veterinarians near by me.
This is called a 4 D X test. In which the veterinarian will only require 3 drops of blood. In order to test for antigens that prove the presence of heartworm’s.
This blood test can be done on the spot, and give pet owners a diagnosis within the same appointment. This test can also detect other diseases such as Lyme disease, ihrlichosis, and anaplasmosis. Which are all diseases caused by getting bitten by a tick.
If a pet owner finds that their pet does not have heartworm. They should start a course of preventative medicine. That can ensure that their pet will never get this parasitic disease. So that they can protect their animal for their lifetime.
Veterinarians Near By Me | Facts About Heartworm
Even though heartworm is a very terrible disease says veterinarians near by me. The fact of the matter is no animal has to suffer from this. Because there are medications that can prevent it.
The only one way for any animal to become infected with heartworm. Is by getting bitten by an infected mosquito. However, medicine can prevent an animal from getting sick.
If they are bitten by a mosquito carrying they dirofilaria larva. This medicine is very commonly found at veterinarians near by me.
And can be administered through chewable formula. Which is great for dogs that will accept medicine in a chewable treat.
But also comes in a topical formula. Which will allow pet owners to apply the medicine to their animals fur. So that if they will not chew a treat with medicine.
Or if they have already tried to taking the medication orally. But had gastrointestinal problems such as vomiting, or diarrhea.
This topical treatment can be a perfect solution. And very popular among cat owners. Because cats are notorious for not taking medication orally.
If a pet owner has not been giving their pet medication to prevent heartworm. They may also want to see veterinarians near by me for a blood test that can detect heartworm.
By taking this blood test. Pet owners can ensure that if there pet does have this parasite. They can undergo treatment to rid them of this disease.
When pets undergo treatment for heartworm before they start exhibiting physical symptoms. They will have a much more positive prognosis.
As well as they will have an easier time with the treatment. Because the medicines used to kill heartworm can also be very difficult on the pets body as well.
The heartworm treatment is lengthy as well as expensive. And pet owners should expect the first course of action. Will be to inject the animal with an antibiotic called doxycycline.
Which weakens heartworm’s, and sterilizes them so they can no longer reproduce while waiting for the treatment. It also kills a bacteria called wolbachia, that lives inside of the heartworm’s.
And if they do not kill the wolbachia as well. When the heartworm’s die. The wolbachia can cause an infection in the animal which can be very serious.
After this doxycycline is injected. The animal must wait 30 days, in order for the medicine to take its full effect. And after 30 days, the veterinarian will give 2 injections of a medicine that contains arsenic.
That is designed to kill heartworm’s. These 2 medications will be done 24 hours apart. And can effectively kill the heartworm’s that are infecting the pet.
However, any pet owners that want to avoid this treatment, which can be very hard on the animal. All they have to do is talk to their veterinarian about preventative medicine.
That can ensure their pet will never get infected with heartworm’s. So that they will never have to undergo treatment to get rid of them.