The Dangers of Forgetting Your Dog’s Heartworm Pills

Heartworms are parasites that are typically transported by mosquitoes and some types of flies. If an infected canine is not treated, the roundworms can cause filariasis and congestive heart failure. To prevent an infection, an owner should typically administer a dog’s heartworm pills once per month, and most of these medications contain ivermectin or selamectin.

Evaluating the Common Symptoms

After a canine has become infected, the parasites will not generally cause symptoms for six months. Subsequently, the dog can experience coughing and weight loss, and when exercising, the canine may become exhausted rapidly.

Most common areas of heartworm infection.

Most common areas of heartworm infection.

Unusual Symptoms

In some cases, an infected pet may suffer from seizures, and these symptoms occur when the parasites become lost and affect the nervous system. Moreover, the worms could infect the eyes and cause a dog to temporarily become uncoordinated.

Conducting Comprehensive Tests

Veterinarians can determine whether or not parasites have produced antigens in a canine’s body. Multiple studies have shown that this technique is able to detect approximately 99 percent of major infections.

A veterinary department may utilize a microscope to analyze a small sample of the dog’s blood. The experts will search for microfilariae, which are larvae that the parasites can produce. The canine’s pulmonary arteries may also be analyzed, and some researchers have indicated that the right side of the heart should also be examined.

Treating an Infected Pet

Currently, most veterinarians give melarsomine dihydrochloride to dogs that are being affected by mature heartworms. After the medication has been administered, the canine shouldn’t exercise for several weeks to ensure that the worms do not migrate into the respiratory system.

Providing Preventative Medication

If you live in a region with a relatively warm climate like our home in Metairie, Louisiana, you should administer monthly doses of the medication year-round. Heartworms can only be transported by mosquitoes if an environment’s temperature is more than 57 degrees Fahrenheit, yet the results of several studies have proven that mosquitoes that carry the parasites can sometimes be present in warmer garages and homes when the outdoor temperature is less than 15 degrees Fahrenheit.

Many of the medicines can also get rid of hookworms, fleas and tapeworms. In spite of a medication’s benefits, a dog’s heartworm pills will not typically eliminate the parasites once they have matured. If you’re in Louisiana, make sure that your vet has prescibed heartworm pills for your dog today.

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