Dogs make great hosts for worms. A simple mosquito bite transfers “infective stage” larvae in the body of the pet which incubates and grows into full-size heartworms in a matter of six months. These pests live for up to 7 years in dogs if left untreated. They grow and reproduce inside the host making it hard to function normally.
The Risk Exists in All Fifty States
Heartworms are a serious problem affecting animals in all 50 U.S. states. The risk exists for indoor and outdoor pets because infected mosquitoes enter homes. The American Heartworm Society recommends testing for heartworm disease every 12 months, and recommends that you give your dog heartworm preventive every month of the year.
Signs of Heartworm Disease in Canines
Although heartworms may not cause problems at first, symptoms often develop in active dogs and canines with other health problems. Some signs that your pet is infected include:
- Mild but persistent cough
- Reluctance to exercise
- Fatigue after moderate activity
- Decreased appetite
- Weight loss
Once a veterinarian diagnoses your dog with heartworms, you must take action to prevent the disease from worsening. One of the first things recommended is to restrict the amount of exercise your dog gets. Heartworms damage the heart and lungs quickly. Physical exertion exacerbates the rate this takes place.
Stabilizing the dog’s disease is the next step. After that, administer treatment as recommended by your veterinarian. After six months has passed, have your pet tested again. Continue to administer heartworm prevention every month for the rest of his or her life to prevent heartworms again.
Petland Overland Park Can Help
Don’t let heartworms hurt your pup. At Petland Overland Park, we offer preventative treatments to keep your little furball healthy throughout every stage of life. And when you purchase a puppy at our pet store, you’ll get a free visit to Stanley Vet to be sure your dog is free of any parasites and worms.
If you have any more questions about our heartworm prevention products, call Petland Overland Park at (913) 498-9814 or stop on by!