There is a deadly parasite waiting to invade my body. Just one mosquito bite can start the nightmare. These terrible creatures are called heartworms. It is crucial to prevent heartworms in dogs immediately.
How Dogs Get Heartworms
The mosquito bites an infected animal. The blood it takes is infested with the larvae. It then bites a healthy dog, transmitting it. Once inside these intruders begin to mature. One worm alone can grow as big as 14 inches in as little as 6 months. That’s mucho grande compared to the body size of a chihuahua.
Their mission is to infiltrate the large blood vessels in my lungs, and then they move on to my heart, the right atrium to be more precise. Here, they reproduce causing blockage to my blood flow. It only takes 2 to kill me. Many perro die without symptoms. Although some advanced warning signs are: weight loss, fatigue, coughing, and difficulty in breathing. If you notice any change in me, take me to the vet. It could be serious. If not, at least you have peace of mind.
There Is Hope
How do we stop them? Prevention is the key. Puppies must be put on a preventative program right away through your vet. The ideal time is 8-10 weeks old. Puppies, prior 6 months don’t have to have a blood test because the life cycle hasn’t developed yet. After 6 months they have to be tested. Adults must have a blood test to make sure they don’t have heartworms. Once cleared, the vet can start the monthly preventative medicine program. It will either be oral like Heartgard, or topical like Revolution. There are several types, so be sure to consult your vet. It is vital that my familia continue this prevention throughout my life.
I must have a blood test every year. Preventative medicine, is awesome, but not infallible. There’s always the possibility that someone may forget to give me my pill or apply a topical. Easy done. Right? If this happens, take me to the vet for a blood test. Don’t give me a pill or the topical until the vet says I’m clear. The reason is, if I’m infected giving me the medicine could be fatal. Yikes!
On A Serious Note
A positive test that confirms heartworms not necessarily condemns your bambino. It is especially hopeful when caught early. Still it is a battle. The vet needs to start treatment immediately. It’s dangerous, but necessary. Not everyone survives, but it is possible to win against this vicious enemy. Never give up hope. Once heartworm free, it’s time to start the preventative medicine again.
Now you know amigos why it is so important to do everything you can to safeguard me against this barbarian. Don’t waste precious time. Make an appointment with your vet. It’s a matter of life and death.