Does Your Pet Have Heartworms? Warning from your Indian Trail Pet Sitter

Light Street Animal Hospital 3D Heartworm Dise...
Heartworms and Your Pet – Warning from your Indian Trail Pet Sitter 
We often hear about Heartworms and how bad it can be if your pet tests positive for them.  But what exactly are heartworms and how does your pet run the risk of becoming infected?  These organisms are rather complicated and it takes quite a few steps for the actual worm to come to fruition.
It all starts with a Mosquito.  It reminds me of the old saying, “What comes first, the chicken or the egg?”  Well when it comes to Heartworms, it is pretty similar.  In order to spread, the Mosquito must land on an already infected host and drink their blood.  Then in approximately three months, larva is produced within the Mosquito.  When the larvas are mature, they will then make their way up to the salivary glands of the mosquito.  Once this has happened, all the mosquito needs to do is to bite your pet and then the larva will burrow down into their new host.  Once the larvas have infected your pet, it can take up to six months for your vet to even be able to detect them.  This gives them plenty of time to make themselves at home.  Already making their way to your pet’s heart.  Once the larvas arrive to their destination, your pet’s heart, they can live for five to seven years before they die off.  However during this time, they are having offspring continuously.  They multiply immensely fast.  The female worm can even spread into the blood of your pet.  While the male worm stays relatively short, the female can grow up to 14 inches.   All of these worms clogging up your pets blood vessels make it a horrendous event to address.
Signs and symptoms are most often not detectable until the worms have made their way thru your pets system, already causing extensive damage.  When they have clogged up the blood vessels, the blood is then redirected, trying to find alternate routes to the heart.  Fluid builds up around your pets lungs, making it hard for them to breathe.  If you notice your pet suffering from any of the following, get them to the vet immediately as these are all signs of possible heartworm infestation:
·         Coughing
·         Tiring easily during or after exercise
·         Nosebleeds
·         Trouble breathing.
Prevention is far more manageable then treatment when it comes to heartworms.  Make an appointment with your vet and ensure you are on a proper prevention plan for your pet.  There are many products now that have a combination Flea, Tick and Heartworm program.  Ask your vet for details. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns about heartworm prevention plans, call us at Love and Kisses Pet Sitting; we’re here to help.  What prevention plan is your pet on?  Comment below and let us know.
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1 Comment

  1. S.Choudhury

    We have a 10 year old boxer (bitch). Because of a persistent & occasional cough which she has had for several months now & which has become more frequent in the past few weeks, we suspect that she has heart worm. She has also lost appetite, becomes easily tired & lethargic, which is not her normal nature. We have been de-worming her regularly (every 3-4 months as suggested by our vet) – Cantel, Alfanil, Drontal Plus, Kiwof have all been used alternately.

    We did not know about heart worm earlier and would have taken precautions if we had known.
    We have had boxers since 1997 (and only boxers) and this is the first one of our pets who has shown the symptoms.

    Kindly help us and advise.

    With best regards


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