Heartworm is a parasitic worm that gets into the heart and vessels of the pet, thereby causing disturbances that can have deadly effects on the health of your fur baby. With every passing day, the disease leads to serious symptoms that can make the pet very weak, thus, resulting in very bad health.
Although, it is possible to treat heartworm disease, it is an extremely painful procedure which is not only time-consuming, but also very expensive. Hence, veterinarians in our country recommend pet owners to administer heartworm preventative treatment to their pets on a regular basis, so that this deadly disease can be avoided at all costs. The preventive treatment is not that expensive in comparison to the ordeal that the pet needs to do bear while suffering from the procedure.
Let us now look at some of the questions that will aid you in getting conversant with this disease:
How Is Heartworm Spread?
Heartworm is spread by mosquitoes that suck blood of the heartworm positive pet and then bites your pet. But the good news is that this disease does not spread when one pet intermingles with other pets. Hence, it is extremely critical to have all your pets on heartworm prevention to reduce the chances of spread of the disease.
Is It Possible For Other Species To Get Heartworm?
Humans cannot get heartworms but dogs, cats, foxes, dingoes and ferrets easily pick up heartworm from mosquitoes. In case you own a kitty, a single heartworm can be extremely fatal.
How Do I Know If Your Pet Has Heartworm?
If it has been more than three months since you have administered heartworm preventative treatment to your pet, get your pet tested for a heartworm test. It has been observed that dogs that are suffering from heartworm disease tend to cough and lose weight gradually. This only happens when the heart damage is irreversible.
How Common Is Heartworm In Our Country?
A study was conducted in our country about shelter dogs in Queensland, South Australia and New South Wales. The results showed that there was a prevalence of 0-2.2% infection rate in this population of dogs. It was also found that warm weather, humidity and floods increased the chances of increase in mosquito population resulting in spread of heartworms. The heartworm infestation rates in dingoes, stray dogs and foxes are more than 2%. This goes to show that the pets in our country are not completely safe from heartworm disease.
Should I Administer Heartworm Preventive Treatments?
A monthly treatment like Interceptor can protect your pet from heartworm infection. It is cost-effective and safe for pets and is recommended to be administered on a year round basis in our country. Remember, prevention is always a smarter option rather than treating the pet from the disease.
What Should I Do If My Pet Has Never Been On Heartworm Preventive?
Take your fur baby to the veterinarian, and get him tested for heartworm. If your pet is infected with heartworm, then he will show an acute anaphylactic reaction to the treatment. Although, this is extremely rare, it is a cheap test, and if the heartworm is diagnosed at an early stage, the pet can be saved. If the results of the test are negative, you can commence the heartworm preventive treatment after consulting with your veterinarian.
So, if you own a pet, it becomes important to learn about this looming threat that can destabilise the life of your fur baby. If you see any of the signs of heartworm in your pet, rush to your veterinarian as soon as possible and start the diagnosis. Remember, an early detection of the disease can aid in recuperating your pet faster. Even if your pet is not suffering from this dreadful disease, commence the heartworm preventive treatment as recommended by your veterinarian and keep your furry companion safe and healthy for his entire lifespan.