All You Need to Know about Heartworm Disease in Dogs

Are you considering to perform dog heartworm test at home?

During the early stages, diagnosis of heartworm disease in dogs can be quite difficult, which is why most veterinarians recommend to regularly get your dog heartworm tested at home or at your vet’s clinic.

Even though dogs are from all states have been diagnosed with heartworm but the dogs living in a place with the warm climate or with too much mosquito problem are more vulnerable to catch heartworm disease. It is possible for some heartworm-infected dogs to not show any sign of the disease during the early stages or they might show minor symptoms which might be mistaken for other infections for example reluctance to exercise and coughing dog heartworm test at home.

Heartworm disease is basically when specific kinds of worms live inside a dog, they grow into adult worms and they also mate and reproduce. They use an infected dog’s body as a natural host. When proper treatment is provided to an infected dog, the number of heartworms will multiple and they can grow up to hundreds of numbers living inside a dog. Heartworms can make a lasting damage to an infected dog’s organ such as heart, lungs, and arteries.

Being a dog owner, you should know about possible risks to which your dog is vulnerable to and to learn more about heartworm disease and dog’s heartworm test at home continue reading this blog.

More about heartworm disease in dogs.

Other than dogs 30 other species of animals can get infected by heartworms including cats. Heartworm disease is caused by parasites worms or heartworms when they get inside the major blood vessels of a dog’s lungs and sometimes inside the heart. The heartworms get inside a dog with an infected mosquito’s bite as microscopic larvae or baby worms dog heartworm test at home.

An infected dog may also develop other infection or medical problems with lungs, heart, and kidneys. In severe cases, the heartworm disease, as well as the secondary infections and conditions, can lead to a dog’s death. That’s why it is important that you diagnose your dog’s disease in time and also provide it the necessary treatment, the earlier the better because your dog’s condition can get serious if timely treatment is not provided. This is also the why many veterinarians suggest pet owners to learn using dog’s heartworm test at home.

This test will simply tell you if your dog has heartworms or not. For more details and information on your dog’s condition and what stage is your dog on, you will have to go to the veterinarian. Other than this heartworm tests are also recommended when beginning a new treatment program for your dog and also for dogs with the on-going treatment program.

Is heartworm test necessary for dogs?

Usually, veterinarians recommend yearly heartworm test for dogs whether done at home or at the clinic. This ensures timely diagnosis of the disease and also reduces the risk of extra complications. If you accidentally miss a treatment dose or can’t make it to the appointment, in such cases a dog’s heartworm test at home is a good backup option. Moreover, regular testing of your dog ensures an early diagnosis and it also allows your dog quicker and easier treatment options and recovery.

How is heartworm disease transferred?

Mosquitos play a major role in spreading heartworm disease. Microfilaria is the microscopic baby worms, which a female heartworm living inside an infected dog produces. These baby worms circulate in bloodstreams of an infected dog and mosquitos pick them up when they bite the dog. When those mosquitos bite other dogs they pass the worms to them, making them infected with heartworm. These baby worms take about 10 to 14 days to mature and be able to infect others.

When inside a new host, these worms tale up to 6 months of time to become adult worms. Once they are adults, these worms can live inside of a dog for as long as 5 to 7 years. Moreover, because of their long life, heartworms infect new dogs every mosquito season dog heartworm test at home.

What are the symptoms of heartworm disease in dogs?

Many infected dogs show minor or no symptoms at all during the early stages of heartworm. The symptoms continue to get more visible with the later stages to the point where they just can’t be missed.

Moreover, few of the common signs and symptoms of heartworm disease are the reluctance to exercise, continuous coughing, loss of appetite, weight loss and feeling too tired after every small physical exertion. If your dog doesn’t get proper treatment, the disease can progress to serious issues like heart failure. Sudden blockage of blood flow within the heart and cardiovascular collapse can result from increasing number of heartworms. The doctors would then have to remove the blockage with surgical methods and this can be fatal if not timely responded.

When should you test a dog for heartworm disease?

Looking at how long heartworms take to mature into adults, veterinarians recommend dog’s heartworm test at home or at the clinic on annual basis.

As the heartworms enter a dog’s body with a mosquito bite, they take 6 to 7 months of time to mature from parasites to adult worms. However, while the larvae or young worms mature, their presence can’t be detected, which is why testing dogs for heartworm at least once a year is ideal.

Majority of times, dogs get tested for heartworm disease during the early springtime to see if the dog has been infected within the course of last mosquito season. Moreover, you should also test your dog for heartworm before starting the treatment program and when changing medications dog heartworm test at home.

What to do when your dog’s heartworm test results positive?

The only good part about getting a positive result on your dog’s heartworm test is that you have timely diagnosed the disease and can start the treatment process. If you took your dog’s heartworm test at home then you need to take your dog to the vet and start the treatment process as soon as possible.

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