Do I Need To Give My Dog Heartworm Medication?
Do I Need To Give My Dog Heartworm Medication?
Heartworms are a kind of internal parasite found in dogs that are infested through mosquitoes. The disease caused by heartworms is a severe one that has the potential of being fatal to your dog. That is why it is critical to get your dog treated at the earliest if you notice some signs of developing heartworms.
The parasitic worms can be almost a foot long and live inside an infected animal's lungs, heart, and other associated blood vessels. The parasites also reproduce at regular intervals, thus multiplying and blocking the cardio-vascular organs. Hence, you mustn't neglect the presence of heartworms and give your dog the proper medication to help them fight the occurrence of heartworms.
You can also use preventive measures like medicines or injections to safeguard your dog from these parasitic worms. These medicines are available in various doses that vary depending on the dog size.
Heartgard Plus for dogs up to 25 lbs is usually prescribed for small dog breeds or your dogs. They also have separate medicines for medium and large-sized dogs. You should consult your vet if you want to know which one would be ideal for your dog.
How Do They Contract Heartworm Disease?
Mosquitoes spread heartworms, and keeping your dogs away from the mosquitoes every single time is not possible. When a mosquito with heartworm feeds on the dog, they tend to transmit some infection to the host. The infection is transmitted in very small baby worms and is known as microfilaria.
After entering the dog's body, the microscopic larvae travel through their bloodstreams, migrating to organs such as blood, lungs, and other associated blood vessels. They take almost seven months to grow into an adult, but they start reproducing and multiply once they do.
There is no surprise that they can soon multiply into thousands in number, causing several diseases to your dog. There is no risk of passing heartworms from one pet to another. That said, if you have two dogs, heartworms from one will not get transferred to another. Other animals that can infest heartworms include foxes, ferrets, wolves, etc.
Prevention of Heartworm Disease in Dogs
As a compassionate and dedicated owner, you will no doubt want to do everything possible for your dog so that they get rid of heartworms. The good news for you is that you can entirely prevent heartworms from developing in your dog’s body. Before you start the preventative heartworm medication for your dog, you need to make sure that there are traces of the worm inside them.
Dogs are usually very good at disguising their symptoms of developing worms, and they will not let you know that they are unwell. They will only show when they can not hide it any longer. Moreover, you may not know that your dog is developing heartworms inside until the worms reach their adulthood stage.
We highly recommend that you get them tested again if you strongly feel that there is something wrong, and the initial test turns out to be negative. If the test results show that your dog has heartworms, you should start with the medication before prevention begins. However, if your dog is clear, you can start monthly medications to protect him from diseases.
The preventatives given for heartworms are usually monthly medications, and several different kinds are given for your pet based on their specific needs. The medications are generally pills that can be easily hidden in their food and, at times, topical treatments that you can apply on their skin to deter the mosquitoes.
One of the most important things that you should keep in mind when it comes to preventatives is that they will only prevent your dog from worms for some time. You should not miss the topical creams given by your vet since even if you miss them for two days, your pal will be at risk of contracting the worms.
Set reminders for the next dose so that tracking becomes easy and you don't skip a single. Consult your veterinarian if you cannot decide which preventative medication should be given.
Are Preventatives Expensive?
You are already aware that veterinary bills are expensive and that, as an owner, you are concerned about the preventative measures that you will have to buy. You should know that preventing heartworms is far less expensive than getting them treated if they develop in large numbers.
The Bottom Line
Heartworms are fatal for your canine friend, and you should be vigilant about their development. Please keep your dog safe and take them for regular deworming sessions to make sure that heartworms can be prevented.