Pets are the most unadulterated sources of joy and happiness. They not only help in lifting the mood of people, but also aid in their overall well-being. Dogs can provide an unmatched loyalty to the owner. But in return, these dogs also need timely attention and care.
Many dogs and other pets die due to uncontrollable circumstances and ailments. One of the most widespread diseases they are vulnerable to is heartworm infection. The disease is found in various dog breeds and other pets worldwide. The reported cases of the disease have been increasing rapidly in recent times.
What Is Heartworm in Dogs & How Is It Detected?
Heartworm is a long-term condition that targets multiple organs simultaneously. Genera of mosquitos carry heartworm larvae called Dirofilaria immitis to the dog’s body. The parasite multiplies in the body affecting several body parts, including the heart, lungs, liver, etc.
The larva enters the adulthood stage inside the dog’s body, taking the disease to its advanced level. These worms gradually block the passage of blood circulation. They also make it difficult for the lungs to purify the blood, leading to fatal consequences. The most critical thing about the disease is that it is not limited to any particular geographical boundary or region.
The vets detect this disease through blood testing. They conduct a thorough blood antigen test to get information about the purity of the dog’s blood. If the test is positive, the blood sample shows signs of heartworm proteins.
Top 3 Tips & Measures to Avoid & Prevent Heartworms
Considering its effects, it is necessary to take preventive measures to safeguard your dog against any such type of disease. The following three tips will help shield the dog against heartworms.
Feeding Dogs With Home-Cooked Food
There are millions of pet owners in the world who do not take care of their pet’s food. They do not consider feeding and controlling their habits a necessary thing. Nutritious and home-cooked food is the best way to ensure a healthy lifestyle for a pet.
If you are packed with hectic schedules, you should try giving healthy food like readily available chicken, yogurt, beef, etc. To keep the disease at bay, they should also feed their dogs preventive medicines that can kill heartworm larvae.
These healthy foods will boost the immunity of your pet. It will not only protect them against heartworms but against many other severe ailments. A pet owner should check for the ingredients and contents of the food before buying them. They should avoid fake products that claim 100% purity in the product.
Medication for Prevention of Disease
There are numerous medicines available in the market for preventing heartworms at the initial stages. Preventive medicines like Heartgard chewables kill the larvae present in the blood and stop them from harming vital organs. However, pet parents should note that these medicines cannot kill adult heartworms. Vets usually prescribe a monthly course of medication if there are early signs of the disease.
Apart from the well-known treatment, experts also recommend oral pills like doxycycline, tubes, injections, etc., to avert the illness. The duration of these preventive measures depends on their use and frequency. However, a pet owner should not give these pills or injections without consulting a specialized and experienced veterinarian.
Timely Checkup of Dog
One of the most important ways to ensure the pet’s fitness is to have regular checkups. When the frequency of checkups is high, the chances of catching the disease in its early stages also increase. A veterinarian can address various pain points of the dog as well.
When you take your pet for a checkup more often, a vet can identify the disease quickly as they know the habitual reactions of the dog. They can effortlessly detect variations in the dog’s health by looking at past results of the checkup. Therefore, a checkup every 6 or 12 months is a must for preventing the disease.
Early identification of heartworms can prevent life-threatening diseases like caval syndrome. Furthermore, there are various other parasites like whipworms, hookworms, tapeworms, etc., that attack a dog’s body.
The safety of dogs is a critical area when they initiate the responsibility. They require extreme care; otherwise, their lifespan shortens over time. Diseases like heartworms spread and multiply greatly without being noticed.
You should be well aware of the preventive measures of heartworms. Prevention of the disease is better than curing it. Even if the treatment goes successful, the immunity power of the dog reduces significantly. Therefore, be responsive to the changes in your dogs and follow the three tips mentioned above to be on the safer side.