What do you know about heartworms in your local district? Just the sound of it scares you so thinking that it might be living in your dog heart is simply unimaginable. In many parts of Australia, a great number of dogs are killed each year because of a heartworm infection. Don’t fret just yet, because the good thing about this disease is that it is perfectly preventable. With a few little tweaks on what you regularly do for your dogs, you can keep them from getting infected by these deadly heartworms.

But before you get all too excited, it is important that you know exactly how these tiny worms get to your dog. After all, the first step to prevention is education. When you know how these worms get to your dog, everything else that needs to be done after that will become very easy.

So how do heartworms get to your dog’s heart?

Mosquitoes are the main transmitters of these worms. What they do is that they inject the tiny worms into your dog’s skin when they bite your dog. These larvae can be so tiny that thhey cannot be seen with the naked eye. Before you realize that the mosquitoes got to your dog, the heartworms have started attacking his heart.

The larvae stay in the skin and slowly develop in your dog’s skin tissues before they turn into worms. They can grow into adult worms of as long as 10 to 15cm. when they reach your dog’s heart, they will slowly crawl into it until they reach the best form to settle. From then, they reproduce to make more larvae that will soon settle in the many other parts of your dog’s body.

These worms are later on passed from one dog to another through shared meals. Sadly, these worms can affect other animals too and even humans. So if you don’t want to see your dog suffer or you become a victim of these heartworms yourself, you must be vigilant in dealing with them. The earlier that you are able to detect the problem, the better it is for your dog. You can provide him with much needed medical attention before things get worse.

What are the tell-tale signs that your dog might be suffering from heartworm infection?

Unless you bring your dog to the vet Seaford or vet in Blackwood, you can never really tell that it is heartworm that is making your dog squirm. However, here are some of the signs that might make you suspect that it is indeed heartworm:

·         Enlarged abdomen

·         Loss of appetite

·         Coughing

·         Shortness of breath

·         Gets tired easily

·         Lethargy

When any of these signs are present, it is best to take your dog to the vet. No one knows a better treatment than the expert themselves. Perhaps the only thing that is left to ask about is how this heartworm can be treated or not. The good news is that when caught early, vets can get to these heartworms and get rid of them. However, much like any other surgery, much risk comes from the treatment. Although the chances of success are very high, there is still no assurance that everything will turn out well.

The risk really comes from the fact that these worms can reproduce as fast as lightning.  And because arsenic-based injections are necessary for the vets to get rid of the adult worms in your dog’s heart, the complications can heighten. It is at this point that prevention becomes totally necessary. How else can you help your dog? Provide them with love, care and attention and you never have to worry about heart worms ever again.