‘Your Dog is Heartworm Positive’ does not mean the end of the lifeline for your dog. Even though various heartworm preventatives are available today, the vast majority of dogs suffer from heartworm infections. Most likely, the reason is unawareness about its risk or maybe it’s because the dog owners are hesitant of spending on monthly preventatives.
But once the initial alarm sets in, it is essential for dog owners to understand that knowing the status of heartworm is actually a good thing, and to take steps towards the right treatment at right time.
Heartworm positive does not mean your dog has short lifespan. The infested heartworms in an untreated dog may live 5-7 years.
Treating heartworm is challenging, but easy to be prevented. Thanks to monthly preventives, it is possible to prevent further infection of heartworm. But the disease is expensive to treat and generally become fatal by the time it has being diagnosed. So, prevention is much better than cure.
Dog is an ideal host for heartworm. It means heartworms live within the heart, where they mature into adults, mate and reproduce immature worms – microfilaria. When the infected dog is bitten by a mosquito, it carries this blood-borne parasite to another animal by biting. If heartworm is not treated on time, then they multiply in numbers and can cause damage to lung, heart and organ.
How Preventives Can Help?
Ordinary heartworm pills do not kill heartworms. You can protect your dog against heartworms through special formulated preventive solutions that contain Ivermectin, selamectin, milbemycin oxime or imidacloprid-moxidectin. These preventives include Heartgard, Revolution, Interceptor, and Advocate which are available in either tablet or topical form.
These products kill heartworm larvae and prevent heartworm infections in your dog. It is only effective during the early stages of the disease. These preventives do not kill adult heartworms. So, do not give heartworm preventives if your dog is diagnosed with heartworms. Usually, adult worms are treated using an arsenic-based compound or removed by surgery. But, these treatments are highly expensive.
Some Proactive Actions to Prevent Heartworm Symptoms
All dog lovers would prefer having a healthy and happy dog! So what can you do to prevent heartworm disease?
Monitor your dog thoroughly
Reduce exposure to mosquitoes and keep your dog away from them
Schedule an annual medical checkup with your vet
Give your dog right heartworm preventives on schedule
Confirm your dog isn’t heartworm positive before treating with a monthly preventative.
Identifying that your beloved dog has diagnosed with heartworm infection is really shocking; no one can deny that. But take preventive measures earlier to keep your dog away from heartworm disease. So the best you can do is to keep your dog on a monthly heartworm preventive and should get regular vet checkups.