Dogs, just like humans, require regular health checks to ensure they’re in top shape. At Laurel Veterinary Clinic in Broomfield, CO, we provide comprehensive care to help keep your furry friends in their best form. One health issue we often alert dog owners about is heartworm, a potentially deadly disease that can silently lurk in your dog for months before symptoms appear. Today, we’re discussing the 10 most common signs of heartworm in dogs, empowering you with the knowledge to better care for your pet.
Understanding Heartworm Disease
Heartworm disease, primarily caused by the Dirofilaria immitis parasite, is a serious and potentially fatal condition for dogs. It’s spread through the bite of an infected mosquito, making any dog susceptible.
The Importance of Heartworm Testing and Prevention
Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition that can affect dogs of all ages and breeds. At Laurel Veterinary Clinic, we understand the vital importance of regular heartworm testing and prevention for your furry companion. We recommend having your dog tested annually and implementing a preventive regimen to help safeguard their health and well-being. Testing enables our team to catch the disease early when it is easier to treat and manage.
Prevention is undoubtedly better than cure when it comes to heartworms, as the treatment can be expensive, lengthy, and sometimes hard on your beloved pets. Preventative measures, such as monthly heartworm medications, not only safeguard your dog’s health but also offer peace of mind to you.
The Silent Progression of Heartworm
Typically, heartworm disease starts quietly. In the early stages, your dog may show no symptoms. But as the disease progresses, you’ll start to notice changes in their behavior and health. At Laurel Veterinary Clinic, our job is to catch these symptoms early.
10 Signs of Heartworm in Dogs
Knowledge is power when it comes to safeguarding your dog’s health. The following are the most common warning signs of heartworm in dogs:
1. Persistent Cough
A consistent, dry cough in dogs could be a sign of heartworm disease, as the worms begin to invade the lungs and surrounding vessels.
If your normally active pet is suddenly unwilling to go on walks or play, they might be suffering from heartworm.
3. Weight Loss and Loss of Appetite
Dogs suffering from heartworm often lose their appetite and, consequently, lose weight. A hearty diet is vital to your dog’s ability to recover when treatment is performed.
4. Difficulty Breathing
Infected dogs may have trouble breathing, particularly after exertion due to the disease’s effect on the lungs.
5. Bulging Chest
As the disease progresses, it may cause a bulging chest, resulting from weight loss in other parts of the body.
6. Allergic Reaction
In some cases, dogs may exhibit an allergic reaction to the heartworms, often leading to skin conditions.
In severe cases, dogs may collapse due to the physical stress caused by heartworm disease.
8. Nosebleeds and Bloody Cough
In late-stage heartworm disease, dogs may cough up blood or experience nosebleeds.
9. Pale Gums
Pale gums can be an indication of advanced heartworm disease in dogs.
10. Resistance to Physical Activity
A dog suffering from heartworm disease may show extreme resistance to physical activity, becoming easily tired or reluctant to move.
Protect Your Dog with Laurel Veterinary Clinic
We’re committed to providing top-notch care to your pet. We believe that awareness and early detection are vital in managing heartworm disease in dogs. Our experienced veterinary team is well-versed in the latest advancements in heartworm treatment protocols. Treatment for heartworms includes a series of injections to kill the adult heartworms in your dog’s heart and surrounding vessels. Your veterinarian will determine a treatment plan according to your pet’s specific needs. If you notice any of signs of heartworm in your dog, don’t delay.
Contact us immediately at (303) 469-5363 to schedule an appointment. Our team of professionals is always ready to help you ensure your dog lives a long, healthy, and happy life.