The Dangers of Heartworm Infection – Infographic

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Heartworm infection is a dangerous condition that can lead to severe lung disease, heart failure and damage to the body’s other organs. Dog owners (and even cat owners) should consider year-round heartworm protection to prevent a potentially fatal infection and a costly medical bill.

Heartworm disease is transmitted when a mosquito bites an infected animal and later bites an uninfected animal. Canine heartworm disease has been diagnosed in all 50 states, so although infection is less prevalent in some areas of the country than others, all dogs are at risk for contracting the disease.

Symptoms of heartworm disease include a mild persistent cough, a decrease in activity, fatigue, loss of appetite and weight loss. Contact your pet’s veterinarian with any questions or concerns regarding heartworm prevention or diagnosis.

1 thought on “The Dangers of Heartworm Infection – Infographic”

  1. Thankfuly there are some options if criteria fits. I recently adopted a young Bully/Pit mix with heartworms named Sheldon. I already keep my other girl, Boo, who is a Blue Heeler/Collie Mix already on Heartguard.

    Since Sheldon is only about 1 year and a half, and in good health, and his infection is considered mild, we opted for the “Slow kill” method. Placing him on the heartguard as well will kill off any microfilariae (baby worms or seedlings) in the blood stream preventing new growth. The life span of the worm life is only about about 18 months to two years they will die on their own. He will be worm free in about 18 months or so. And I intend to keep both on the monthly preventative anyways to keep them healthy.

    In those moderately infected they may reccommend a course of heartguard prior to the “fast kill” method, which involves using injections. The dying of the worms produces toxins which are harmful to the dogs, as well as the medicine which weakens the dog. So they reccomend killing off the micro’s in the blood first, which also produces toxins, and then going after the worms with the injections. Giving the die off a “spread” so the dog is not on overload with toxins all at once.

    Those highly infected may need to have surgery or hospitalization during treatment to remove adult worms. This may be the only alternative.

    Exercise needs to be limited during these treatments.

    Hope this helps and offers some alternatives. Please ask you vet about your options. If you plan on keeping your dog on heartguard, maybe the slow kill will work for you too!

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