Heartworm disease is a potentially fatal disease caused by parasitic worms that invade a dog’s body. Although we are not an endemic area, for pets that travel, this can be a severe problem. Please discuss all travel plans with your veterinarian.
If a dog has heartworms, what symptoms should I look for?
The symptoms of heartworm are coughing, lethargy and history of travel to somewhere where heartworm is prevalent. Unfortunately, by the time symptoms occur, significant damage may have already taken place. Prevention is best if travelling to areas affected.
How does a dog get heartworms?
Mosquitoes that carry Dirofilaria Immitis in high exposure areas transmit this infection to the dog while they bite.
What are the treatment options for heartworms?
Monthly heartworm preventative can be used to prevent infection. A heartworm adulticide is used if an animal is positive for heartworm.
Why is recovery for heartworm treatment so challenging?
Treatment for heartworm extends over several months. Adulticide injections require deep muscular injections that are painful. Exercise restriction during recovery is essential for minimizing cardiopulmonary complications following adulticidal treatment.