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Discussing Heartworm in Dogs

As part of being a responsible pet owner, it’s essential to ensure our dogs get the healthcare they need to combat common diseases, including heartworm prevention. April is National Heartworm Awareness Month. So, it’s the perfect time to discuss the damaging effects of this disease and learn about what you can do to protect your beloved pet from falling victim to the horrors of heartworms. 

Understanding How Dogs Contract Heartworms 

Dogs can easily contract heartworms when they come in contact with a mosquito that carries this parasitic worm. The heartworms reside in the mouth area of the mosquito, making them easy to transmit through bites. Once bitten, the larvae of the heartworms travel to the dog’s heart and lungs to mature and reproduce. This may take several months to become noticeable, as dog’s typically will not display signs of heartworms until the more advanced stages. 

Signs of Heartworm in Dogs 

Dogs may not show symptoms until further along in their infection, but if they do display signs, they may include the following: 

– Mild but frequent coughing 

– Lethargy and reluctance to be active 

– Extreme fatigue after moderate exercise or activity 

– Loss of appetite 

– Weight loss 

If you suspect your dog has heartworms, or they begin showing signs, it’s important to visit your veterinarian immediately. Heartworm can quickly progress and become damaging to your dog’s organs, resulting in heart failure, and even death when not promptly treated. 

Preventing Heartworms for Your Dog 

Your first line of defense against heartworm is preventative heartworm treatments for your pet. Your trusted veterinarian will have several options of heartworm prevention medication to choose from, including topicals, tablets, or even injections that are given every 6 or 12 months to protect your dog from the infected mosquitos. Additionally, it’s important to have your pet tested for heartworm, especially if they have never been on preventative medications before. 

Keep your dog happy, healthy, and out of harm’s way by contacting your local veterinarian to discuss heartworm prevention today!



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Monday – Friday
8 am – 6 pm
Saturday & Sunday