Canine Heart Worms
An important pet health care issue, canine
heart worms have been
all 50 states.
Unless your dogs is 7 months of age or
younger, she must
be tested before preventative measures are taken. Otherwise, severe
reactions may develop.
Heart worms in dogs are parasitic worms
about six inches long and the
diameter of thin spaghetti. Baby worms are microscopic and live in
blood vessels throughout the body.
What Causes Heart Worms in Dogs?
Dog heart worms live in the oxygen-rich
right ventricle of the
and surrounding blood vessels. They are transmitted by
mosquitos. Long hair
offers no protection for your dog.
Symptoms of Heart Worms
Symptoms are not normally seen until the
very advanced. At that time, the symptoms resemble congestive heart
- difficulty breathing
- dull coat
- enlarged abdomen
- fainting spells
- lack of energy
How are Heart Worms Diagnosed
They are detected through blood tests and/or
X-rays. Blood tests may
not detect heart worm antigens until the worms are sexually mature,
which normally occurs about 6 months after infection. For accurate test
results, female worms must be present.
Treating Heart Worms in Dogs
While the condition is curable, it is not
without risk. Treatment
involves careful medical care and plenty of rest.
To eliminate the worms, a series of
given, spaced out over a period of time. Once treatment is finished,
the worms will be dead, or dying. While this is the goal, the heart is
still full of these dead parasites. Over time, the worms will break
into small pieces until they are tiny enough to be eliminated by the
The reason rest is so critical at this point
the worm fragments may still be large enough to plug small arteries in
the lungs. The heart pumps faster with vigorous activity, which
increases the risk that the particles can lodge into small blood
vessels. Five weeks of rest is normally recommended.
Prevention of Canine Heart Worms
Prevention is your best bet, as once symptoms are seen, it may be too
late. Treatment takes a long time. It is very expensive, can be risky for the dog, and success is not guaranteed.
Your vet can prescribe a once-a-month pill.
My dog takes
once a month
and loves the liver tasting tablets.
The information and
products recommended by german-shepherd-lore.com are not intended to
take the place of expert veterinarian care. Please consult with your
vet and ask about using a natural and alternative approach for the
healthcare and treatment of your pet. Find a holistic vet.