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Heartworm – Protect Your Dog from this Silent Killer

Your dog could be infected with Heartworm and you never know it!

Heartworm is a silent and deadly killer of mostly dogs and some cats. The larvae of this parasite can only be transmitted to dogs through the mite of an infected mosquito. The mosquito has to ingest the heartworm at the right stage of development in order for it to grow from adolescence to adulthood.

Once a dog is infected with heartworm they grow in and the bloodstream and mature and multiply. Once they have matured to adult heartworms they infiltrate the dog’s right heart ventricle. Then they start to grow and proliferate. Heartworms can exist and grow inside a dog’s heart and lungs and other internal organs for as long as 5-7 years before being discovered. By then it could be too late. That’s why annual or bi-annual heartworm checks are crucial. If heartworm is caught early your dog may have a chance.


Prevention is the best Cure for Heartworm


The best way to treat heartworm is to prevent it all together. There are several products on the market that prevent heartworm, as well as other parasites such as ring and hook worms. It’s best to do your own research to determine which brand or product you think is best for your pet.


The main reason Heartworms are so harmful to dogs is that they overload the heart and lungs as they grow. The worms basically suffocate the dog from the inside. They can grow up to lengths of 14 inches, with hundreds of heartworms infesting the heart at a time. Eventually, they clog up the dogs arteries, so that they either have a heart attack or stroke. The problem is that it is very difficult to detect heartworm without a blood test, because there are no symptoms until it is too late.


Heartworm Treatment is Painful and Dangerous for your Dog


Treatment for heartworm is dangerous, because most of the effective cures have arsenic in them. It’s a very painful process for the dog. The best cure is to prevent it all together. Heartworm blood tests should be done at least every two years, if not annually, to make sure they have not been infected.


Administering preventives such as Heart Guard™ and Interceptor™ protects dogs from being infected with heartworm in the first place. Do not give a preventive to a dog that has not first been tested for heartworm infection. If they have heartworm and are given a preventative it could kill them!


It is very important to test annually or bi-annually and to give preventives every month. This will protect your dog from this silent and deadly disease. Prevention is the best cure for keeping your beloved canine companion healthy and happy.

Deborah Brightstar 2010©

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