Extremely important that as many animal lovers as possible learn about the dangers of heartworms and the possibilities of protection.
What are heartworms?
Heartworm larvae enter the dog when the mosquito sucks blood.
The worms are mostly located in the pulmonary arteries, the right side of the heart will only be affected in the later stages of the disease.
The lifespan of heartworms can reach 7 years, the parasite cannot pass directly to family members living with an infected animal, blood-sucking mosquitoes are needed to transmit the infection.
Why is it dangerous?
The infection can go unnoticed for a long time, and by the time it is discovered, it has already caused serious or irreversible damage to your pet’s body. Therefore, prevention is extremely important.
Making a diagnosis is also complicated by the fact that parasites cannot be detected during the first 6-8 months of their development cycle (with blood and serological tests).
How can you defend yourself?
Detecting the disease is therefore not easy, so preventive treatment and repeated examinations are necessary. Fortunately, there are several methods that can be used:
Regular screening is important!
At the start of each annual preventive treatment, dogs must be examined for the presence of both circulating antigens and microfilariae in the blood (Knott’s test for microfilariae, blood test to screen for antigens).
Prevention with repellent preparations:
Animals can be protected from mosquito bites with spot-on preparations that prevent mosquitoes from sucking blood.
Antiparasitic preparations for dogs
Antiparasitic preparations for cats
Additional prevention methods:
There are other preparations, they work when delivered to your pet’s body. In any case, regular application is the most important part of your defense strategy.
Ask your veterinarian about effective preventive treatment against larvae!