Heartworm is a serious and potentially fatal disease that can affect dogs of all ages and breeds. But how do dogs get heartworm in the first place? In this article, we’ll explore the transmission process and provide tips on how to protect your furry friend from this dangerous disease.
How Heartworm is Transmitted to Dogs
Heartworm is transmitted to dogs through the bite of an infected mosquito. When a mosquito bites an infected animal, it picks up tiny heartworm larvae, which then develop and mature into infective larvae over the course of 10 to 14 days. When the mosquito bites another animal, it injects these infective larvae into the new host, where they migrate to the heart and lungs and begin to grow into adult worms. It’s important to protect your dog from mosquito bites to prevent heartworm infection.
Symptoms of Heartworm in Dogs
Heartworm disease can be difficult to detect in its early stages, as dogs may not show any symptoms until the infection has progressed. However, as the disease progresses, dogs may experience the following:
In severe cases, heartworm can lead to heart failure and even death. It’s important to have your dog tested for heartworm regularly and to take preventative measures to protect them from this dangerous disease.
Prevention and Treatment Options
The best way to protect your dog from heartworm is through prevention. This can be done through monthly heartworm preventative medication, which is available in a variety of forms including pills, topical treatments, and injections. It’s important to consult with your veterinarian to determine the best preventative option for your dog. If your dog does test positive for heartworm, treatment options include medication to kill the adult worms and antibiotics to treat any secondary infections. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to remove the worms from the heart and lungs. Early detection and treatment are key to successfully treating heartworm disease in dogs.
The American Heartworm Society
Want to learn more? Check out the American Heartworm Society’s web page – Home – American Heartworm Society
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