Heartworms as the name suggests are the worms that infest the heart of dogs. If a dog is infested by heartworms, it can cause a potential damage to their health and even cause death in certain cases if not taken care of in time. Heartworm detection in dogs is quite difficult as the symptoms are not very evident and it can be months before you actually figure out that your dog is infested with heartworms.
Can my dog also get heartworms?
Any dog can get infected with heartworms. Heartworms are caused by the bite of an infected mosquito. If an infected mosquito carrying the heartworm larvae bites your dog, he can get infected with this disease. Such an infected mosquito can bite your dog anywhere, be it in a park, during a walk or even at your house and it cannot be ascertained if the insect is an infected one or not.
Can I also get infected from my dog if he is suffering from heartworms?
Heartworms are caused only by the bite of an infected insect and these insects bite only dogs and cats. This is not a contagious disease and cannot spread from your dog to you or from one infected dog to another.
How can I detect if my dog is infected with Heartworms?
Heartworms cannot be detected that easily as dogs infected with these parasites do not exhibit any symptoms at an early stage. It takes about 6-7 months for the larvae to mature into heartworms and reproduce further. Hence, it is strongly suggested to prevent this disease rather than curing it as it’s a costly affair and is also difficult to ascertain this disease. Few of the symptoms that can be shown by dogs that are highly infected are cough, tiredness, altered appetite, loss of weight and reduced activity. However, regular blood tests can affirm the presence of heartworms in your dog.
How can I prevent heartworms in my dog? Are there any medicines available?
Since heartworms are very difficult to detect and cure and can also prove fatal, better option is to prevent them. There are a variety of medicines available that you may give your dog for preventing these parasites. These tablets should be given every month. As per studies, one such very effective and widely accepted medicine is Heartgard Plus which contains Ivermectin as the active ingredient. These are chewable tablets which are beef flavored and can be easily chewed by the dog. Heartgard Plus Chewables cause the death of heartworms by paralyzing them in the dogs body. It should be given regularly every month to prevent heartworms in your dog. It is quite a safe and effective product against heartworms if used correctly and as directed. If you feel that the product is not suiting your dog, consult your vet immediately.
Heartgard Plus Chewables are beef flavored tablets for dogs and cats to treat and prevent heartworms. This is a prescription drug which can be obtained only with a valid prescription from your vet. You can buy this medicine from a local pharmacy or can be bought online from a Canadian Online pharmacy or from an Online pet meds store.