Heartworm disease is a fatal disease caused by a parasite known as Dirofilaria immitis. It can potentially damage the heart, lungs and blood vessels of your dog. There are better chances of recovery if the disease is diagnosed much earlier. So, all you need to do is monitor if your dog is showing any signs of heartworm disease.
Signs of heartworm disease
Cough: The most common symptom of heartworm disease is a dry cough. The parasite generally starts multiplying in the lungs and even after a little physical activity, coughing is noticeable.
Weight loss: When your dog gets infected with heartworm disease then eating can also become difficult for him which can result in weight loss.
Allergic reaction: Your dog can show some symptoms of allergic reaction in response to the attack of heartworms.
Breathing problem: When the worms inhabit the lungs then your dog can feel difficulty in breathing as it makes it difficult for the lungs to oxygenate the blood.
Lethargy: Heartworm can make a dog weak so, if your dog seems more inactive and feels difficulty in doing a basic physical activity then he might get infected with heartworms.
Bulging chest: The chest of your dog may have a bulging appearance due to heartworm infection.
So, if you notice any of these signs then it is advisable to visit your veterinarian as your dog can recover better if the disease gets treated much earlier. It is generally very hard to detect the heartworm infection but veterinarians have other tools to detect it accurately.
Treatment for heartworm disease
It is very important to treat your dog effectively as the heartworm disease has the potential to permanently damage the heart, lungs and blood vessels of dog. The treatment can become more complicated if a large number of worms are present in his body. Injectable drugs are given in order to kill the adult heartworm. However, in severe cases, surgical removal of heartworm is recommended by the veterinarian. If your dog is showing symptoms like loss of appetite and lethargy then treatment with antibiotics can effectively kill the heartworms.
Heartworm prevention in dogs
It is always a wise decision to take proper measures to prevent heartworm disease as it can be fatal to your dog so, you need to provide him effective medication. All you need to do is give him monthly medication as it will help in avoiding development of heartworm disease. Always make sure to get your four-legged friend tested regularly in order to keep them protected.