Welcoming a dog as your family member is one of the best things in this world. They do not just give amazing cuddles, unconditional love, and devoted companionship, but they also relieve us from anxiety and stress and even boost our overall health.
Dogs are truly heaven sent and we would do anything in our power to keep them safe and healthy as well. One of the greatest fears of pet parents is to learn that their best furry friend has a health issue.
Among the many serious diseases that we never want our dogs to acquire is heartworm.
Heartworms are potentially fatal and can be really scary.
It can result in severe lung disease, heart failure, organ damage, and death. Heartworm disease is caused by a parasitic worm called Dirofilaria Immitis. It can spread through a mosquito bite and your dog can be its definitive host. The female heartworms will release their offspring into the dog’s bloodstream and start aggravating your pet’s health.
Everything You Need to Know About Heartworm Treatment
You are probably aware of the risks of this disease if you have been a pet owner for a long time but for first-timers, this is uncharted territory. Don’t worry, we will walk you through everything you need to know about the disease, what you can do to prevent it from entering your dog’s body, and what the treatment responses are in case your furry baby gets it.
Non-Grown or Pre-Adult Heartworm
If in case your visit to the vet was not a pleasing one and your dog got diagnosed with heartworm disease, your veterinarian may recommend a course of antibiotics. He or she can also recommend you to use heartworm preventives such as Heartgard Plus. Steroids can also be given before beginning the adult worm treatment to prevent these pre-grown worms to grow into full adult heartworms.
Heartgard Plus has the ability to kill the larvae in their juvenile stages. It can also treat other infestations such as hookworms and roundworms. This product is loved by many dogs for its real beef flavor. It is often administered once a month as a preventive treatment.
Dealing with the Adult Worms
After managing the pre-grown worms using antibiotics, preventive treatment, and steroids, your dog will now need to undergo treatment to combat adult heartworms. Adult worms can cause more harm to the organs of your dog.
This treatment may take up to 60 days to complete which also consists of drug injections to kill the worms. Your dog must stay in the hospital for observation to monitor the situation. Your dog has to be retested for heartworm after the course of this full treatment to ensure that all the worms have been eradicated.
If the first course of treatment worked well, you can continue to use Heartgard as a heartworm preventive maintenance for your dog. If your dog was rediagnosed with heartworm disease after the treatment course, the whole process must be repeated.
Limited Activity Level
During the treatment, your dog’s activity level must be limited as well. The fragments of the killed worms can block blood flow and worsen inflammatory responses. Too much activity or exercise for heartworm-diagnosed dogs can cause a lot of complications including coughing, breathing problems, and even sudden death.
Make sure they only engage in minimal activity in the home.
Always ask your vet when they can resume their usual activities to make sure that your dog won’t be in danger.
We understand the panic after learning your dog has heartworm disease, but please take refuge in the fact that most dogs who undergo preventive and full-course treatment often recover from the disease. Even those with more severe symptoms can recover.
For pet owners who believe that their dogs are completely healthy, please still use preventive measures. Give them Heartgard Chewables to make sure that you and your dog won’t experience the same pain of having to deal with this pesky, life-threatening disease.
Give your dog the proper dose by checking the weight appropriation in the Heartgard labels. Check all the options here.
Give them a powerful extra layer of protection and make more wonderful memories together!