Friday, 27 April 2012

Protecting Your Dog Against Heartworm Disease


With the summer months quickly approaching it is more important than ever to ensure that your dog is protected again heartworm disease. Ensure you speak to your veterinarian regarding your dog’s heartworm prevention plan.

What is Heartworm?
Heartworm is an extremely severe disease which can make your pet incredibly ill and can eventually become fatal. Heartworms are essentially parasites that live inside infected dog’s heart and the blood vessels supplying blood to the dog’s lungs. These worms take over the dog’s internal organs (heart, lungs and liver) causing death to many dogs and cats each year.

How does a Dog become Infected with Heartworms? 
Infected mosquitoes transfer the immature worms into the dogs’ tissues through their saliva when they bite into the dog’s skin. The immature worms then make their way to the dog’s lungs and then into the heart. The worms then mature 15 – 30 cm long and reproduce while living inside the dog’s heart. The worms are then able to create thousands of larvas and infect more mosquitoes which in cycle will infect other dogs.

What are the Signs of Heartworm?
Without testing heartworm disease usually goes unnoticed until it is too late. Sign of heartworms can include: chronic or strenuous cough, sluggishness and fatigue as well as weight loss.

How can I Protect my Dog?
Heartworm disease is easily preventable by working with your veterinarian. The veterinarian will test your dog’s blood for signs of the parasite and prescribe a lotion, injection or pill for your dog. The testing frequency and medication is determined by your veterinarian and it is important to follow this schedule. At times, dogs that are on heartworm prevention medication do contract the disease. Usually this is because the dog’s owners forgot to, or was late giving their dog their medication. Annual testing is recommended.

What happens if my Dog Tests Positive for Heartworm?
Heartworm is treatable by giving a series of treatments first destroying the adult worms in the heart and lungs, and then killing the immature worms and larva in the blood stream. These treatments are extremely costly and can be hazardous to your pet. Prevention is highly recommended.

Please contact your vet if you have any questions! Have a safe and heartworm free summer! 
** Garage Sale for Griffin on April 28th, 2012! Our Gentle Giant is going through costly heartworm treatments, come by to support him! 41 Arden Ave 8am - 4pm Find some hidden treasure and enjoy some BBQ! **

Help Donate to Cure Griffin's Heartworms

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