Dog Heartworm Test
Heartworm is a parasite that is carried and transmitted by mosquitoes. Heartworm is prevalent in both southern parts of Canada and the United States during the warm months, or year-round in the southern states. Heartworm is easily preventable with oral or topical treatments recommended by your veterinarian. If left untreated heartworm can lead to fatal heart damage, early detection is important.
What are the symptoms of heartworms in a dog?
Symptoms often mirror that of heart disease; coughing, exercise intolerance, panting.
How do dogs get heartworm?
Heartworm is transmitted to dogs by mosquitoes carrying heartworm larva. When the mosquito bites your dog, the larva is passed into the bloodstream. The larva then migrates and attaches to the heart muscles. As the larva grown it begins to crowd space inside the heart and creates damage to the heart muscles.
What are the treatment options for heartworms?
There is only one treatment available for dogs with heartworm. Injections of an anti-parasitic medication must be injected on a schedule set by the veterinarian. Injections are costly and can be high risk. The earlier a heartworm infection is diagnosed the better outcome for the dog.
Why is recovery and heartworm treatment challenging?
Treating and dogs recovering from a heartworm infection can be very challenging both medically and physically for the dog. Due to the parasite affecting the heart, cardiac complications are a prominent concern. Depending on the severity of the infection, long-term heart damage can occur.