Are you trying to decide whether or not to put your dog on a heartworm preventative? Are you looking for more information about the benefits heartworm prevention for dogs in Wilmington? If so, you’re in the right place.
6 Reasons Why Heartworm Prevention is Important for Dogs in Wilmington, DE
In this article, we’ll explore the most important benefits of heartworm prevention medication for dogs. We’ll help you learn why most veterinarians in Wilmington, DE require dogs to be on heartworm medication and why it’s such a good idea for you to put your dog on these types of medications as well. With this information, you can better understand what to discuss with your vet regarding your dog’s health.
Some reasons why heartworm prevention for dogs is important include:
Dogs May Have Worms Living in Their Heart
Some dogs may develop heartworm infections which cause worms to grow and live in their hearts. In some cases, these infections can be severe with hundreds of small worms residing in the pulmonary artery. These worms can spread to other organs in very serious cases and can eventually cause the dog to suffer organ failure and death if left unmanaged.
It does not take long for heartworm infections to get out of hand in a dog’s body. You can protect your dog from having to go through this serious health problem by putting him on heartworm prevention medication and keeping up with his regular monthly doses.
Dogs Can Contribute to the Spread of Heartworms
If your dog is not on a heartworm preventative, this means that he could easily become a host for heartworms at almost any time. And this, in turn, means that he can become a vector for them just as easily. If your dog is bitten by a mosquito with heartworms, then he will contribute to the spread of heartworms to other dogs through further bites.
In other words, if your dog is infected and is then bitten by a healthy mosquito, that mosquito will pick up and carry the heartworms. If it bites another dog in the area, then those heartworms will be transmitted to the healthy dog and the cycle will continue.
Heartworms Affect a Dog’s Wellbeing
A dog with a heartworm infection will usually develop a chronic cough. The cough can sometimes be serious enough that the dog will vomit due to the severity of his coughing, and this vomiting can contribute to dehydration.
Even a dog who doesn’t have a serious cough from heartworms will still suffer from a lack of wellbeing. Your dog may be unable to exercise for very long without getting tired and may be more likely to have difficulty breathing as well.
Individual dogs have different symptoms from heartworm infections, but they all suffer to some degree.
Heartworms Can Occur Anywhere
It is possible for dogs to contract a heartworm infection anywhere and at any time. Whether you live in a cold climate or a warm climate, your dog is at risk for heartworms if he is not on prevention for them. Heartworms are spread by mosquito bites, and mosquitoes exist just about everywhere. With the transportation of dogs from the southern US where heartworm disease is endemic, more and more dogs in northern climates are being exposed to heartworm.
Even if your dog is mostly an indoor dog and only goes outside for potty breaks, there is always a chance he can be bitten by mosquitoes and can contract heartworms. For this reason, you should put him on a preventative to protect him any time he’s outdoors.
Dogs with Heartworms Require Lifelong Care
With intensive treatment that includes painful injections and months of cage rest, dogs may eventually be cleared of their heartworms. However, without treatment many will have heartworms for the rest of their lives. Your dog will need to undergo lifelong care if he has been diagnosed with heartworms and will need to strictly follow your vet’s guidance as well.
By putting your dog on a heartworm preventative as early as possible, you’ll give him the best possible chance at avoiding this type of ongoing condition management.
Heartworm Preventative Doesn’t Just Prevent Heartworms
Today’s heartworm preventative medications will also help to prevent the most common intestinal parasites that dogs are exposed to. Dogs who frequent dog parks, daycares, or just find critters to hunt in their yards are at risk for roundworms, hookworms, and whipworms. Heartworm preventative not only prevents heartworm disease, it is a monthly deworming medication for intestinal parasites. Several of these intestinal parasites can be zoonotic, meaning humans are at risk of disease from them.
By giving your dog his monthly heartworm preventative, you are also ridding him of intestinal parasites that could infect humans.
Talk to a Vet About Heartworm Prevention for Your Dog in Wilmington, DE
Now that you’ve had a chance to learn more about the importance of heartworm prevention for dogs, you should be ready to schedule an appointment for your dog to be tested right away. After your dog is tested, your vet in Wilmington will let you know the results. If your dog is clear of heartworms, then he will be able to go on preventative medication right away.
If your dog does have heartworms, your vet can talk to you more about treatment and management options that can help your dog live a full and quality life. At Wilmington Animal Hospital, we’ll make sure your pet receives the care they need to help best care for this condition. Our team works to help prevent your dog from contracting heartworms from the beginning, but if your dog does contract this disease, we’ll work with you on helping get them back to their happy and healthy selves.
If you have any questions about your dog’s health, or if you’d like to schedule an appointment, call us today at (302) 762-2694 and our team will be happy to assist you. We’re happy to be your partner in your pet’s health, and will be with you and your pet every step of the way.