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Dogs and Heartworms
| It is surprising how many people are still confused about heartworms and the effects that a heartworm can have on
First lets look at what heartworms are and how your dog can become infected.
Heartworms are transmitted by mosquitoes into the dogs blood stream. The immature heartworms called microfilaria
travel through the blood stream.
The microfilaria settle into the heart chambers and major pulmonary blood vessels. This causes a blockage of the
blood flow and pathological changes to the surrounding tissues.
This blockage happens when the larvae grow into adult worms. An adult female heartworm can grow up to fourteen
inches and can live as long as five years.
A female heartworm can produce thousands of microfilariae, which is transmitted into a mosquito when it bites an
infected dog, and subsequently injected into the next dog that that mosquito dines on.
What Are The Signs That A Dog May Have Heartworms?
ĜUsually the first system is weight loss. The dogs hair may become dull and brittle.
ĜThe infected dog also may tier easily.
ĜA persistent coughs and or labored breathing.
ĜIn more progressed cases victims may vomit blood from ruptured lungs.
If the disease is not prevented or caught in time the result will be a slow painful death from congestive heart
What Do I Do If My Dog Is Infected?
Treatment is available but it can cost hundreds of dollars, and may be ineffective depending on the degree of
The best defense against heartworms is routine checkups with your vet. Giving your dog heartworm medication once
a month easily prevents heartworms.
Warning: You Must Have Your Dog Tested For Heartworms Before Starting Heartworm Medication!
About the Author
je Dunn has published several books on dogs and has free information all about dog training,
health, and care at: Dogs-First.com