How Do You Know If Your Dog Has Heartworms? | What is heartworm disease?

What is heartworm disease? | How Do You Know If Your Dog Has Heartworms?

When is a dog owner searching for How Do You Know If Your Dog Has Heartworms? We understand it’s a concerning question for him. In the United States and many others, pets may get heartworm disease. That can be very dangerous and even deadly. Heartworms may grow to be a foot long, and they infest the heart, lungs, and blood vessels of infected animals, creating severe health problems. Although dogs, cats, and ferrets are the most common heartworm hosts. This causes heartworm illness and other mammals, such as wolves, coyotes, foxes, and sea lions. The proximity of many metropolitan areas to the natural habitats of foxes and coyotes makes these wild animals prime vectors for spreading illness.

Due to the dog’s role as a natural host, heartworms may develop into adults. That further reproduces and spreads throughout the dog’s population. Dogs may carry as many as a few hundred worms at once if left untreated. Heart-worm illness may negatively impact a dog’s life expectancy and health. Even after the worms get eliminated because of the harm caused to the heart, lungs, and arteries. Thus, preventive measures are optimal, and therapy, if necessary, should begin as soon as feasible in the disease’s progression.

How Can Mosquitoes Transfer Heart-Worm Illness?

The mosquito plays a crucial part in the entire lifecycle of heartworms. Adult female heartworms inhabiting an affected dog, fox, coyote, or wolf create microfilaria, which travels through the circulation. Whenever mosquitoes feed on an infectious agent’s fluids. They acquire these immature parasites. These grow into “infectious phase” larvae in ten to fourteen days. Later, when the insect bites another dog, cat, or vulnerable wild animal, the infectious larvae are placed on the skin and penetrate via the puncture wound. It requires around six months for larvae to grow into heartworm disease after transferring to a new host. When matured, heartworms may survive up to five to seven years in dogs and two to three years in cats. Due to the lifecycle, the number of worms in an affected pet might increase with each mosquito cycle.

What Are The Symptoms Of Canine Heart-Worm Illness?

In the first stages of the illness, many dogs exhibit little or no symptoms. However, the longer an infection remains, the greater the likelihood that symptoms may manifest. Active dogs, dogs afflicted with heartworms to a significant degree, and dogs with other health issues often exhibit prominent clinical indications.

Heart-worm illness comes with a slight, persistent cough, unwillingness to exercise, exhaustion after moderate exertion, a reduced appetite, and weight loss. As heartworm illness advances, dogs may suffer heart failure and an enlarged belly due to fluid accumulation. In addition, dogs infected with a high number of heartworms are susceptible to abrupt obstructions of blood flow inside the heart, which may result in a life-threatening kind of cardiovascular collapse. This condition is known as caval sickness, characterized by the abrupt onset of difficulty breathing, pale gums, and crimson or coffee-colored urine. Few dogs survive without timely surgical resection of the heartworm obstruction.

What Is The Risk Of Heart-Worm Disease For My Dog?

When are you thinking about How Do You Know If Your Dog Has Heartworms? Always consider that Heartworms are not an issue in your region. However, your neighborhood may have a larger frequency of heartworm illness than you realize—or you may unintentionally travel with your pet to a location where heartworms are more frequent. Each year, heartworm illness also spreads to other parts of the nation. Stray, neglected dogs, and some mammals such as coyotes, wolves, and foxes may be heartworm carriers. Wind-borne mosquitoes and the movement of diseased animals into previously unaffected regions also contribute to the spread of heartworm disease.

States That Are Under Threat

Heart-worm illness has been identified in all fifty states, and it is hard to anticipate risk factors. Multiple factors, including temperature fluctuations and the availability of animal carriers, cause infection rates to fluctuate drastically from one year to the next, even within communities. In addition, since sick mosquitoes might enter the home, outdoor and indoor dogs are in danger.
The American Heartworm Society thus urges that you “think 12:” (1) Have your pet tested for heartworms annually, and (2) feed your pet heartworm preventative year-round.

What Information Do I Need To Know About Being Tested For Heart Worms?

The heartworm illness is a dangerous condition that worsens with time. The sooner it is diagnosed, the higher the likelihood that the pet will recover fully. Because there are few, if any, early indications of illness when a dog or cat is infected with heartworms, it is necessary to discover their existence using a heartworm test that a veterinarian does. Since there are few early signs of disease, it is vital to detect their presence.


Your pet will need to provide a very tiny blood sample for the test, which will determine whether or not heartworm proteins are present by looking for them. While some veterinarians do the testing for heartworm directly in their facilities, others refer the samples to an investigative laboratory for further testing. In either scenario, one may expect results to be produced rapidly. Should your pet get a positive result, more testing may be required?

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