Veterinarians Near By Me | Is Heartworm Disease Fatal?
Heartworm’s is an extremely preventable disease according to veterinarians near by me. But is difficult as well as costly to treat and cure.
This is why prevention is vital. To ensure that animals do not get infected with the heartworm larva which is called dirofilaria.
In fact, the only way for animals to get infected. Is to be bitten by a mosquito who is carrying the heartworm larva.
And there is absolutely no way of telling if a mosquito is infected with this larva. Which is why it is so important that pet owners utilize preventative medicine.
Heartworm is a larva that only affects mammals. And it is most prevail and in dogs instead of cats. Typically because of the size of the animal itself.
Dogs are typically larger, and have larger hearts and lungs. While cats on the other hand are smaller. And have smaller hearts and lungs.
When an animal is infected with the dirofilaria larva. It will mature to adult hood in the bloodstream. Before looking for an organ to live inside of.
Since hearts and lungs contain holes for the heartworm adults to crawl inside. These are the most commonly affected organs.
Heartworm’s can live between 5 and 7 years in a dog. In between 2 and 3 years and I cats. During which time, they will continue to reproduce, having more and more heartworm’s grow inside the animals organ.
Ultimately, when the organ is too full of heartworm’s. In order to continue working, organ failure happens, and the animal passes away. However this can take several years.
And will cause an animal to live with the disease for many years before it is actually detected. Once an animal does exhibit symptoms according to veterinarians near by me.
It can be very difficult to treat. Because their organs will be so full of worms. That their health will be compromised. And the treatment can be extremely dangerous on a pet that is not healthy.
The reason why, is because the treatment contains arsenic. In order to kill the heartworm’s. But at the same time, can impact the health of the pet negatively.
Therefore, early diagnosis is key to effective treatments. Veterinarians near by me says they will typically not do a heartworm treatment on an animal that is sick already. Because the arsenic can kill them.
The treatment consists of injecting an antibiotic called doxycycline into the animal. Which does several things. It helps protect the animal, in case they have an adverse reaction to the arsenic.
But also, the doxycycline will also weaken the heartworm’s. And sterilize them, so that they are unable to continue to reproduce.
The doxycycline will also kill a bacteria called wolbachia. Which is a bacteria that lives inside the heartworm’s. And once the heartworm’s die. The wolbachia can actually infect the animal. Each is why it is important to kill that off before the heartworm dies.
After injecting the doxycycline. The veterinarian will require the animal to wait 30 days in order to let the antibiotic take effect. And after that time, they will be given to injections of the arsenic-based drug, 24 hours apart.
Veterinarians Near By Me | Is Heartworm Disease Fatal?
Heartworm disease is on the rise in dogs according to veterinarians near by me. And this is according to a study that was conducted by the tri-annual heartworm society.
This survey showed that the number of dogs getting diagnosed with heartworm per clinic into who thousand and 16. Was 21 point 7% higher than dogs diagnosed with heartworm in 2013.
And while getting a diagnosis quickly. Can help ensure that the treatment is more effective. An even more effective treatment is prevention.
Not only is heartworm on the rise. But it is also being reported in all 50 states of America. And places where veterinarians used to say heartworm was not prevail in, such as or gone, California, Arizona and desert areas.
Are now seeing a rise of heartworm instances in those areas. Especially where they are implementing more irrigation, which will allow more mosquitoes to populate.
And it only takes one bite from one infected mosquito. To infect a dog or a cat with heartworm. This is why preventative treatments are so vital.
After a single bite from an infected mosquito. It will take anywhere between 6 to 7 months for the larva to mature into the adult form of heartworm’s.
A single heartworm can live for 5 to 70 years in a dog. And 2 to 3 years in a cat. However during that lifecycle. They can reproduce hundreds of times.
And dogs have been found to have as many as 250 worms in their their system at one time. This can be a very terrible disease. And pet owners must ensure that if they have a pet with heartworm. That they become dedicated to treating it.
The reason why says veterinarians near by me. Is because heartworm is fatal in animals if it is left untreated. And while there is a treatment for heart worms. Prevention is the best medicine of all.
A preventative medicine is available for pet owners. Who needs to administer this medicine once a month. However, just because they need to give this medicine to their dog or cat monthly.
Does not mean it has to be expensive. Depending on the animal’s weight, and entire year’s supply of treatment can cost anywhere between $35-$80.
Therefore, prevention is definitely the best way to treat heartworm in both dogs and cats. The sooner people can ensure that they are treating their pet. The sooner they can be relieved that they never will have to get this diagnosis.
It is very important that preventative medicine is taken. Because initially, there are no symptoms of heart worms. But as more and more worms crowd the heart and the lungs.
Animals will tend to develop a cough. As they exercise, such as going for walks or to the dog park. Will become winded easier, and can end up fainting from time to time.
With how easy preventative treatment is. Veterinarians near by me recommend that all pet owners get familiar with the preventative medicine. And treats their dogs and cats on an ongoing basis.
So they never have to worry about their pet developing this terrible and preventable disease.