Life Cycle: Adult male and female worms living in the heart produce thousands of microscopic baby worms, which roam throughout the body. These baby heartworms do not grow to adulthood in the animal they were born be it cat or dog. After mosquito bites the infected dog, with blood it draws up baby heartworms. During the next month, the heartworm babies develop into heartworm teenagers in the mosquito. Again when mosquito with teenage worms bites a pet it injects teenage worm in the pet. Herein the pet now teenagers become mature adult capable of reproducing. These worms can reduce or obstruct normal blood flow, can cause damage to arteries of lungs. Depending on the site and quantity of worm symptoms will be manifested
Usually there are no symptoms. Symptoms resemble those of other more common problems.
2. Dull coat
3. Lack of energy
4. Difficulty in breathing
5. Enlarged abdomen
7. Choking fainting spells
8. Hindquarter paralysis
9. Sudden unexplained death
Unprotected dogs living outdoors will almost certainly catch heartworms. Indoors dogs going outside in the morning and evening will probably catch heartworms.
Prevention: There are several different drugs used for heartworm prevention, all of them highly effective and easy to use. The most common preventatives are given once a month from the age of seven month.
1. A monthly application to the skin,
2. Once-every-six-months injection,
3. A monthly good-tasting pill.
The prevention strategies include safe guarding pet from mosquito bites, killing baby worms. It should be decided by veterinarian which strategy to be used.
Treatment: The prescription medications used to treat the adult Heartworms are called adulticides. Melarsomine dihydrochloride (Immiticide) is the new drug of choice. It is an arsenic derivative and is administered by a careful intramuscular injection. It appears to be as effective. It has potential for significant side effects and close veterinary monitoring is very important. Approximately four months after adulticide therapy, pets are retested for the presence of Heartworm. If infection still persists then second round of treatment is administered.
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