Heartworm disease is prevalent throughout the US. However, statistics show heartworms are more prevalent in southern states. Interestingly, a dog will contract heartworms through an infected mosquito. It only takes one bite from an infected mosquito to pass heartworms to your dog. If you have more than one dog, heartworms cannot be transmitted from one infected dog to another. However, an infected mosquito could certainly transmit the disease to both dogs.
Heartworms do not always manifest symptoms in the early stages. However, if left unattended and untreated, heartworms can cause sudden and unexpected death.
Signs of Heartworms
When heartworms begin to cause symptoms, these are the typical signs you will notice in your dog:
- A persistent cough
- A decrease in appetite
- Loss of weight
If your dog exhibits any of these signs, please contact us (757-595-3337) immediately for an appointment. We will perform lab tests such as a complete blood count and urinalysis. If we discover that your dog does have heartworms, we will begin treatment to eradicate the heartworms. Typically, the treatment course will last for several months. We will monitor your dog's progress to ensure your dog is completely free of heartworms during that time.
After treatment, we will keep your dog on heartworm prevention to impede re-infection.
It is essential to consult your veterinarian when making preventive care decisions for your dog. This is true for a variety of reasons. There are many over-the-counter products on the market today that range from ineffective to outright dangerous. Our veterinarian is trained and qualified to help you make the best decisions regarding preventive care and treatment of any health conditions your dog may develop, especially when it comes to parasitic infections.
Regular checkups help ensure your dog is not infected with heartworms. Call Warwick Animal Hospital in Newport News, VA, today (757-595-3337) if you suspect your dog may have heartworms or to schedule a regular checkup for your dog.
Is this what you meant? Or that one treatment will keep heartworms away for several months?