Rau Animal Hospital:
2135 Jenkintown Road
Glenside, PA 19038
215-515-5542
Fax: 215-884-8851
Hours:
Mon - Fri: 8am - 9:30pm
Sat: 8am - 4pm
Sun: 8am -12pm & 1pm - 3pm
Rau Too Lower House:
2135 Jenkintown Road
Glenside, PA 19038
215-515-5542
Fax: 215-884-8851
Hours:
Mon, Wed, Fri: 9:30am-5:30pm
Tues & Thurs: 12pm-8pm
Sat: 9am -3pm
Sun: closed
 
 
 

Heartworms In Dogs - Symptoms and Treatments


animal doctor

What Is Heartworm Disease?

While outdoor playtime certainly offers numerous benefits, it also increases the risk of exposure to heartworm in dogs. This does not mean that dogs are completely safe indoors. It simply means that potential exposure to heartworm infection increases with more exposure to the outdoors.

Heartworm is spread through dogs via bites from infected mosquitos. Once a heartworm infestation occurs, it will become life threatening. Therefore, our goal is to implement a preventive program before your dog is exposed.

When an infected mosquito bites a dog, it injects larvae into the dog. The larvae then mature over a period of several months, eventually ending up in the right side of the heart and the pulmonary arteries. Once this occurs, they mature into adult heartworms in dogs, and can reproduce about six months from the time of invasion. At approximately eight months after the invasion, heartworm in dogs begin to produce a new crop of microfilariae that will live in the dog's blood for about one month. By the time this occurs, most dogs are showing significant heartworm symptoms, and their lives are in danger.

As heartworm disease progresses through each stage, treatment methods become increasingly invasive. This is a big reason why early detection plays a major role in the options and ability for your dog to recover. Remain aware of any changes in your dog's behavior. If you do find that your dog is displaying symptoms that are different than their normal behavior, it is important to make a veterinary appointment right away.

Heartworm Prevention For Dogs

Heartworm prevention is given in the form of a monthly chewable. The chewables are readily accepted by most dogs as a treat. It is very important that the chewable once every 31 days (with food) to make sure that your dog is adequately protected. Side effects of the chewable medication are rare. However, as with any medication, please call if you notice any changes in your dog's health or behavior. (Note: there is a rebate if you purchase 6 months or 12 months worth of heartworm preventative.)

It is important to consult your veterinarian when making preventive care decisions for your dog. This is true for a variety of reasons. There are many over the counter products on the market today that range from ineffective to outright dangerous. Our veterinarians are trained and qualified to help you make the best decisions regarding preventive care and treatment of any health conditions your dog may develop, especially when it comes to parasitic infections.

Schedule An Appointment To Diagnose Or Prevent Heartworm In Dogs

Heartworm is an easily preventable disease. If your dog is not currently using a veterinarian recommended heartworm prevention medication, please schedule an appointment right away. There is no reason for your dog to be exposed to heartworm disease, when prevention is so simple.