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Heartworm prevention is so much better than the cure

Heartworm is a particularly nasty parasite which is spread from host to host by mosquitoes. Dog heartworms are a kind of filaris (a long thin worm), but the condition can affect cats, ferrets, coyotes, wolves, sea lions and even humans. This worm was named as such due to its habit in the final stage of its reproductive cycle to live in the heart of its host.

If untreated, the animal will find exertion more difficult and may faint under physical strain or undergo extreme breathlessness. The parasites can also damage the lungs, kidneys, and liver, causing the death of the animal when these organs or the heart itself fails.

Treatment is possible, but it is lengthy (18 months or more). It is also unpleasant for the animal, usually involving an arsenic compound or other heavy duty heartworm meds to kill the parasites, and may even require surgery. For the vast majority of the infection, you may not notice any symptoms.

A dog heartworm may take 6 to 7 months to move from introduction to the animal's system via mosquito bite, to its eventual landing in the heart. Fully matured female heart worms may reach a length of 30 centimeters, and males 23 centimeters. Mating occurs after seven months and microfilariae is produced by the females. The spread of mosquito breeding grounds from strictly warm southern climates has lead to an increase in heart worm proliferation.

Prevention measures for heartworms is typically a monthly Prophylactic, such as Heartgard which contains ivermectin - a broad spectrum anti parasite medication. The medicine Heart Guard for heartworm is not very expensive, quite easy to use, and effective as well.

Milbemycin, which is the active ingredient in the heartworm treatment Interceptor, and moxidectin, which is the active ingredient in ProHeart, are two other heartworm preventatives. Heartgard Plus is the most popular anti-heartworm medication.

It is also possible to treat for Heartworm and other parasites with the use of a topical application such as Revolution, which not only controls heartworms, but also a effective in flea and parasite control. Thankfully, heartworm protection is very effective, so there is no need for your pet to be negatively affected. You can consult with your vet and get them to check your pet.

First, diagnosis is commonly made by a blood test, then medications are given for the cure and prevention of the infection. The amount of the damage in an infected animal will be revealed by an x-ray. Heartworm pills or injections are a common route to take in curing an infection, however prevention is always much better than trying to cure heartworms. (This holds true with fleas, ticks, and other health conditions, as well.)

Bring up canine heart worm at your dog's next routine check up and get the information you need. It will be cheaper and much better for your pet not to risk their health by short term economy.

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Friday, 01 March 2024

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