Veterinarians Near By Me | Is Heartworm Treatable?
No animal owner ever wants to hear the words that their pet has developed heartworm according to veterinarians near by me. However, instances of pets being diagnosed with heartworm is on the rise.
According to the tri-annual heartworm society. The survey that they conducted, showed the average number of dogs diagnosed with heartworm. Was 22% higher in twenty sixteen than it was in twenty thirteen.
Therefore, because more dogs are being diagnosed with heartworm. People should understand that it is a treatable disease. But more importantly. It is a preventable disease as well.
Many people do not understand what heartworm is. But it is a parasite called dirofilaria. That is carried by mosquitoes. When they bite dogs and cats. They transfer the dirofilaria larva into their bloodstream.
Once in an animal’s bloodstream. The larva grows into an adults, where they look for an organ to get into and live. Typically, they will go for the heart, which is where heartworm gets its name says veterinarians near by me.
However, they can go into other organs. Including the lungs. And in animals that have heartworm in the lungs. They can end up coughing, or having difficulty breathing.
And while there is a treatment available for animals that have been infected with heartworm. The treatment includes an extremely strong drug that includes arsenic as an ingredient.
And it works by killing the heartworm, but also by compromising the health of the host. Because of this, only the wealthiest animals will be considered for treatment.
Once an animal is diagnosed as having heartworm. Veterinarians near by me discuss treatment with the pet owner. To discover what the best option is for the animal.
The treatment will take just over a month. Because the first injection is an antibiotic called doxycycline. Which is injected in order to protect the animal. As well as weakens the heartworms and sterilizes them.
By weakening the heartworm, it will take less arsenic to kill the heartworm. It also sterilizing them will ensure that they do not create larva that will go on to create more heartworm’s in the process.
What the antibiotic doxycycline does as well. Is it kills bacteria that lives in the heartworm’s themselves. This bacteria is called wolbachia.
That can end up causing an infection in the animal once the heartworm’s die, and the wolbachia stops living in the heartworm’s and looks for a different host.
After the injection of doxycycline. The animal will have a thirty day rest period. And after the thirty day rest period, veterinarians near by me will inject arsenic, twice. And injected twenty-four hours apart from each other.
This is designed to kill the parasite called heartworm’s. But also, it can end up harming the animal. So it should only be used on only the healthiest animals.
However, pet owners need to understand that in healthy animals. This is an extremely effective treatment. That results in eliminating the heartworm’s. And allowing the animal to live a long and healthy life.
Veterinarians Near By Me | Is Heartworm Treatable?
Many people are very scared when they hear that there animal has developed heartworm according to veterinarians near by me. It can be very scary because it is sometimes a fatal condition.
Also, pet owners can often end up blaming themselves if their pet has developed heartworm. Because it is a very preventable disease.
Heartworm happens within an infected mosquito sucks blood from a dog, cat or affair it. They will transfer larva into the host.
This larva is called dirofilaria. And once in the pets bloodstream. The larva grows up into adult heartworm’s. Where they will start looking for an organ to live in.
Heartworm is more often found in dogs than in cats and ferrets. Simply because the heart of a dog is larger than the heart of a cat or affair it.
The adult heartworm is a certain size. And therefore, can only fit into a certain size of heart. If the adult heartworm is smaller, or reaches the heart before they are completely full-grown.
They can get into the heart of a cat or ferret. Where they will be able to grow, and create problems. Once living in the heart or the lungs. The heartworm can reproduce, and causing an infection of heart worms to take over the body.
While the best test for heartworm is to get a blood test once a year. Or once every other year. Pet owners should also be aware of what physical symptoms their pets can exhibit.
The symptoms can vary greatly depending on each animal. But also depending on cats and dogs. Dogs will develop symptoms such as being lethargic all the time, losing weight, coughing and having a hard time breathing.
However, cats who are infected with heartworm’s. Can cough, vomit and refuse to eat their food. Followed by weight loss, having difficulty walking, fainting and having seizures.
The reason why heartworm is so feared by pet owners. Is because it can cause death in their pets. So it is very important that people get preventative treatments. Or a quick diagnosis.
If people are concerned that there animal has heartworm. They should make an appointment with veterinarians near by me. Because it is a very quick blood test. That can result in a diagnosis within a few minutes.
The blood test for dogs is called A4 D X test. And is looking for the heartworm proteins that are called antigens. That are released by adult female heartworm’s into the pets bloodstream.
If these antigens are present, then the pet has tested positive for heartworm. And the next steps about treatment can be discussed.
The benefits of having a four D x test. Is that it can also test for to diseases such as lime disease, anaplasmosis and ehrlichosis.
The blood test for cats is a little bit different. But in the blood test. Veterinarians near by me are looking for an antibody and an antigen, that detects exposure to heartworm larva.
An antibody is a chemical response to something foreign in the body. And is a very conclusive test in cats. So people suspect their cat has heartworm, they can get a blood test done as well.