What Is Heartworm Disease?
Heartworm disease can be fatal to your pets. Heartworms are foot-long worms that live in the lungs, heart, and blood vessels that can damage the organs of the body, as well as cause heart failure and lung disease. Wild animals are carriers and can transmit it to other animals. When heartworms live in dogs, they grow into adult worms, mate, and have offspring. When left untreated, a dog could have hundreds of worms inside its body. If you are in Scarsdale, NY, you should visit Central Animal Hospital for heartworm prevention.
How Is Heartworm Transmitted?
A mosquito is a key piece of transmitting heartworms. Adult heartworms live in infected animals and the animal is bitten by a mosquito. When a mosquito bites an infected animal, it picks up baby worms which develop into larvae that are then put into another animal when the infected mosquito bites them. In about 6 months, the larvae develop into adult heartworms, which live for 5 to 7 years in dogs.
What Are Signs Of Heartworm?
In the early stages of heartworm disease, there may be no symptoms. The longer the infection remains in the animal's body, the more likely symptoms begin to develop. Those symptoms may be a persistent cough, fatigue after moderate amounts of activity, weight loss, and a decreased appetite. The longer the disease progresses, your pet may have a swollen belly as a result of fluid in the stomach and potential heart failure. Dogs may have blockages in their blood vessels which may cause cardiovascular collapse. Other symptoms may include labored breathing, dark, bloody urine, and pale gums.
Can I Get My Pet Tested For Heartworm?
You should take your pet to your veterinarian to be tested for heartworm on a yearly basis. It can happen during a routine visit that includes preventive care. Depending on your dog's age, it dictates how often you should have it tested. You should consult your veterinarian to determine which treatment is right for your pet and how often the dog should be tested. You should also make sure that your animal takes heartworm medication regularly in addition to annual testing. To ensure that your pet has all the care it needs on a regular basis, you should visit Central Animal Hospital in Scarsdale, NY. Contact us today to schedule an appointment so we can make sure your pet can begin regular care today.