Heartworm disease is a serious disease that can lead to heart failure and lung disease. It can even cause death in pets, both dogs and cats. It is important to seek heartworm treatment for a vet as soon as possible to avoid further complications. Heartworms live in the lungs and hearts of animals. If you are looking for a veterinarian for heartworm treatment, you can visit us here at Village Animal Hospital in Diamond Bar, CA.
Heartworm Causes & Symptoms
A parasitic worm known as Dirofilaria immitis is the main cause of heartworms. It is known to be spread through mosquito bites. The worms are then able to mate and produce offspring inside of a dog, making the animal the host. The intermediate hosts are the mosquitos since the worms only live inside them for a short period of time while transitioning. The good news is that it is not contagious. An infected dog cannot pass it to another dog just by being near it. It can only be transmitted through a mosquito bite.
Heartworm disease is classified into four stages. The symptoms get worse as the class gets higher.
- Class 1: No symptoms or mild symptoms. Sometimes pets have occasional coughing.
- Class 2: Symptoms are mild to moderate such as fatigue after activity and occasional coughing.
- Class 3: Symptoms are more severe such as persistent coughing, fatigue after mild activity, sickly looking, trouble breathing, and heart failure symptoms.
- Class 4: This stage is known as caval syndrome. This condition is life-threatening and immediate surgery is needed to remove the heartworms. That is the only option for treatment. Surgery is a bit risky. Most pets die even with surgery from caval syndrome.
It is important to note that all pets do not develop caval syndrome that has heartworms. However, if no treatment is given, the disease can and will progress and result in damage to your pet's lungs, liver, kidneys, and even heart.
The best treatment for heartworm disease is prevention. This will keep you from taking your pet to see a veterinarian. However, if you need to seek treatment, normally vets give injections of Melarsomine dihydrochloride into the back muscles to kill adult heartworms in pets. This only works for pets who are in stages 1, 2, or 3 of heartworm disease. Another drug that is given is Advantage Multi which is a topical solution that is applied directly to your pet’s skin. Heartworm treatment can be toxic to your pet’s body and even lead to serious complications that can be life-threatening.
Call Village Animal Hospital Today!
To schedule an appointment with a vet, please give us a call here at Village Animal Hospital. Our clinic is in Diamond Bar, CA. We look forward to meeting you and your furry friends.