Veterinarians Near By Me | Heartworm is Treatable
Despite the fact that heartworm is a parasite that can be fatal in untreated animals according to veterinarians near by me. Heartworm is also extremely treatable. Especially if it is diagnosed early.
According to the tri-annual heartworm societies survey. The average number of dogs being diagnosed with this parasite is on the rise. With 22% more diagnosed cases in 2016 then in 2013.
However, despite the fact that it is on the rise, and cats and dogs can become affected with this parasite. Many pet owners still do not know what causes heartworm disease. Or that there is preventative medicine for it.
The one and only way that an animal can be, infected with heartworm. Is by being bitten by a mosquito that is infected with heartworm a larva, called dirofilaria.
As the mosquito bites its victim, it passes along the dirofilaria larva into the bloodstream of the animal. And within 6 to 7 months, that larva will grow into a full-grown adult heartworm.
While the larva will live in the animals bloodstream while it is maturing. A fully grown heartworm looks for the area of a body to attach to, in order to begin reproducing.
It typically will look for an opening in an organ. And most commonly attaches to the heart of an animal. Which is where heartworm gets its name from.
However, veterinarians near by me say that the heart is not the only organ that can become infected with this parasite. Lungs are also a common organ that becomes infected with heartworm’s.
A single adult heartworm can live in a dog for anywhere between 5 to 7 years. While cats can host this parasite for 2 to 3 years before that parasite dies.
However, during its lifespan, it can create hundreds of larva. Therefore, a single heartworm can grow into hundreds during these 5 to 7 years. And as 1 heartworm dies, there are others to take its place.
Because of this, veterinarians near by me says that as time goes on. More and more heartworm’s will infect the animals organ. Until those organs start to fail.
Treating this disease is most successful if they can diagnose it. Before the organs start to fail. And before an animal starts exhibiting symptoms such as coughing, having difficulty in breathing and weight loss.
However, the only way to diagnose this parasite early. Is to get a blood test done during the animals annual physical. This is a simple blood test that requires 3 drops of blood regardless if it is a cat or a dog.
And during the examination, a pet owner will be able to get the diagnosis if there pet has this parasite or not. If they do have it, the treatment will be much more effective being caught earlier.
However, the best treatment is preventative medicine. So that owners should discuss medication that can prevent heartworm with their veterinarian. So that they can start administering this to their pet early. And never have to worry about their pet contracting this disease.
Veterinarians Near By Me | Heartworm is Treatable
It is very important for pet owners to understand that although heartworm is terrible says veterinarians near by me. It is actually a lot more preventable and treatable than many people think.
Despite the fact that heartworm cases are on the rise within the United States of America. It is easier than ever before to get tested and treated for heartworm’s.
However, since the treatment is very harsh on an animal’s body. Because the drugs used to kill the heartworm. Contain arsenic, which can negatively impact the animals body.
Therefore, the healthier the animal is. The better prognosis the animal has after undergoing treatment. If a person does not get their dog or cat diagnosed before they exhibit symptoms.
And they get tested because there animal is already experiencing problems such as breathing issues and weight loss. They may have a more difficult time with the arsenic. Which can negatively impact them.
By getting simple blood test done by their veterinarians near by me at their annual physical. They can test for this parasite. And if they test positive before they start showing symptoms.
The treatment that they undergo for heartworm. Can be very effective, because there are fewer heartworm’s to kill. But also because the animal is healthier, and can withstand the medication easier.
If a dog or cat tests positive for heartworm. Veterinarians near by me will want to start treatment as soon as possible. The first step is to inject an antibiotic in preparation of the actual treatment.
But this antibiotic does, is it weakens the heartworm’s. As well as sterilize is them, so that they no longer have the ability to reproduce. And prevent larva from entering the animals bloodstream. While undergoing treatment.
The antibiotic which is called doxycycline. Also is designed to kill a bacteria that lives inside the heartworm. Called wolbachia, that can actually cause an infection in the animal. Once the heartworm dies, and the bacteria is left behind.
After the veterinarian injects the doxycycline. They must wait 30 days for this antibiotic to take full effect. And weaken the heartworm’s significantly.
After 30 days, the veterinarian will inject the first dose of the medication containing arsenic. And 24 hours later, inject the next dose.
These 2 doses will be enough to kill the heartworm in the pet. But in healthy animals, this is an extremely effective treatment. Getting rid of their heartworm, and saving their life.
However, pet owners should know that this is truly a last case scenario. And while this treatment can be very harsh. It is also lengthy and expensive.
And instead of waiting until there animal is infected. Pet owners can use a preventative medication. And pay anywhere between $40-$80 for an entire years supply.
That will guard their pets against this parasite. So that they never have to worry about if there pet tests positive for this parasite. This medication is completely safe. And 100% protects their pets.