Veterinarians Near By Me | Treating Heartworm
While many pet owners are scared to hear a diagnosis of heartworm according to veterinarians near by me. Early detection means an extremely easier time with treating heartworm’s.
To help their pets live a long and healthy life. Since pets can live anywhere between 2 and 7 years after developing heartworm. Early detection is so important to treatment.
If pet owners are taking their cats and dogs to veterinarians near by me every year. They will be able to get a test called a 4 D X test. Which is a blood test that can help detect if pet has heartworm’s or not.
When this test is done in dogs. It will look for heartworm proteins that are called antigens. That get released by female adult heartworm’s into the dog’s bloodstream.
Veterinarians near by me look for these antigens. By taking 3 drops of the dog’s blood. And conducting the test in-house. Within the same in appointment. Pet owners can find out if their dog has heartworm or not.
In cats, the test is going to look for the heartworm antigen. As well as an antibody present in their bloodstream. That the cats body produces in response to having something foreign in their blood.
The best thing about the 4 D X blood test. Besides the fact that dog and cat owners can get an answer if their pet is infected within the same appointment.
Is that this test also looks for lime disease, anaplasmosis and ihrlichosis. Which are all diseases caused by tics. And can also help keep their pets healthy.
Even though this is a much more rare condition in cats. Veterinarians say that they will opt for giving cats the test yearly as well. To protect to them just in case they develop heartworm.
If pet owners want to ensure that veterinarians do the test. They need to sign a waiver indicating the pet owner authorizes the vet to draw blood.
The veterinarian only needs 3 drops of blood, and will be able to test for the antibodies and antigens right away. However, as small a chance pet owners have at their pet developing heartworm.
Rather than testing every single year. They can also administer a monthly preventative treatment. This medicine comes in a chewable as well as the topical formats.
And when they administer this once a month. It 100% protects their pets from heartworm. And if they get bit by an infected mosquito. It will ensure that the larva dies in their bloodstream before growing into an adults.
If pet owners live in an area of the world where they do not have mosquitoes year-round. All they have to do is stop giving there animal the monthly treatment during months were mosquitoes are not around.
And once the first mosquito of spring is spotted. They should start the preventative medicine again. To ensure that if there pet ever gets bit by a mosquito. They will not develop heartworm.
Veterinarians Near By Me | Treating Heartworm
Many people are not aware of how devastating heartworm can be for their pets according to veterinarians near by me. And instances of dogs being diagnosed with this disease. Is on the rise throughout the United States of America.
Heartworm, just like the name sounds is when a parasite called dirofilaria gets into the pets bloodstream as a larva. This typically happens from mosquitoes who carry the larva.
Mosquitoes pass on the larva when they bite a dog or a cat. And in the pets bloodstream, the larva grows into adulthood.
Once fully grown, they look for an organ that they can grow into. And since our hearts and lungs contain a lot of holes for the worm to crawl into. These are the most commonly affected organs.
Because of the stringy worms growing in the heart, this is how the dirofilaria got its name heartworm. In fact, animals who were autopsied that have heartworm shows a mess of heartworm, in the organs.
However, even though this is an extremely preventable illness. There still might be instances where animals get diagnosed. For these animals, there is a treatment available.
However this treatment can be lengthier as well as more expensive according to veterinarians near by me. And can also put the animals health at risk with how strong the medicine is to treat the heartworm.
Because of this, patients who are not in good health typically should not undergo this treatment. Because the medicine used to kill the heartworm. Contains arsenic, which can negatively impact the pets health as well.
This is why getting blood tests every year or every other year is beneficial says veterinarians near by me. Because they will get diagnosed before they start developing physical symptoms.
And since pets can live anywhere between 2 and 7 years with heartworm undetected. The more time passes, the more heartworm’s they will develop. And the stronger they will be. And the harsher medicine will be needed in order to kill them.
However, if the veterinarian and pet owner decide that they would like to treat there animal. The entire treatment will take about one month’s time.
The first injection will be an antibiotic called doxycycline. Which weakens and sterilizes the heartworm’s. So that they become easier to kill. And make it so that they can no longer reproduce more heartworm’s.
Doxycycline will also protect the animal against the ravages of the arsenic-based drug. After injecting the doxycycline. The animal must wait 30 days before going through the rest of the treatment.
The next injection will be the arsenic-based drug. And they will receive 2 injections, 24 hours apart. This should kill the heartworm, and since it can negatively impact the animals health.
They need to rest after the treatment. And be guarded against common illnesses that they can pick up. Because their immune system will be fighting off the arsenic that was used to kill the heartworm.
Rather than submitting their pet to this harsh treatment. People should instead use the preventative medicine to ensure their pets does not develop heartworm in the first place.