Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Basic Dog Care Tips: Heart worms in Domestic Dogs

Heart worms in Dogs - What They Are & What to Do?

Heart worms are parasitic worms that happen to be well-known in dogs. Like their specific name implies, they can reside in the dog's heart, normally free-floating inside the right ventricle and nearby blood vessels. The worms actually are spread from canine to canine from mosquitoes that can pass the larvae via their saliva. The presences of heart worms can easily be very deadly to your dog's well-being. Despite that the dog will not display signs of infection until it has progressed significantly, these parasites are deadly, along with being hard to detect and diagnose.



Symptoms of Infection of Heart worms in Dogs:

When a dog catches this parasite, there are literally no signs that worms are present even with a blood test. As soon as the worm larva reaches the heart and matures, however, signs which are detectable by X-ray begin to develop quickly. These include damage to the blood vessels around the heart and lungs. It truly is rare that a dog will probably be infected by only one worm and as the mature worms grow bigger and the numbers increase, the conditions worsen, eventually causing a blockage of blood flow. It is usually at this stage that the dog will start to display physical signs which can include pain, hypertension, trouble with breathing, lethargy or even fainting. In extremely progressed cases the dog can end up with having a major heart problem and death although by the time the heart worm disease has reached this stage the owner has probably realized that something is occurring and sought veterinary care.

Treating Heart Worms in Dogs

After the dog is diagnosed as having heart worms, treatment needs to start. What this treatment is and exactly how it is administered depends on the stage of the worm infection. Generally, you will find four stages of Heart worm disease.

Stage One - Dogs at the lowest risk - worms are detected in X-rays but all the other tests appear normal.

Stage Two - Dogs are moderately infected, may have some difficulty breathing and be demonstrating coughing.

Stage Three - Dogs are severely affected & may display weight reduction, have a problem breathing, blood tests likely show kidney and/or liver damage.

Stage Four - Dogs have Vena Cava Syndrome and are generally in shock, essentially dying - surgery may be undertaken to eliminate worms, however there is unfortunately no guarantee that it is going to protect the dog.

When it comes to heart worms in dogs, prevention truly is the most effective medicine. The perfect time to begin a preventative treatment is early in puppy-hood, before the dog is seven months old since dogs older than seven months are at a great risk for adverse reactions to the preventative treatments.

The way to Prevent Heart worms in Dogs:

Regular preventive treatments that are recommended by veterinarians work well. They'll save you the price of more expensive treatments, and more importantly, could help your dog avoid a great deal of pain. Most of these preventive treatments kill any immature worms that enter the body before they have a chance to grow and cause serious damage. Besides, most monthly heart worm preventives have activity against intestinal parasites, as stated by the American Heart worm Society (AHS). A large majority of intestinal parasites can infect humans-another good reason to use preventive treatments.There are a number of FDA-approved heart worm preventives in the marketplace, in a number of different formulations. Some of the most common are daily or monthly chewable tablets like HeartGuard or monthly topical (skin) treatments. If you have trouble remembering a monthly treatment, ask your vet about injections which offer protection up to 6 months. Your veterinarian can help select the best preventive treatment and method of administration for your dog. Before placing your family dog on preventive treatment, your veterinarian will most likely conduct a basic blood screening to make sure your dog isn't already infected. Using preventive treatments with infected dogs won't kill existing adult worms and can cause severe complications. Your veterinarian may schedule regular tests in the future to make sure your puppy remains heart worm free.

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