Symptoms of Heartworm Disease


First discovered in 1856, Heartworm disease has been the most common type of canine illness in the United States. These parasitic roundworms live and eventually damage the right side of the heart of its host thus affecting the functions of other organs most especially the lungs. The blocking of the blood vessels due to the irritation caused by the adult worms causes back pressure resulting to abnormal blood circulation. Both long-haired and short-haired dogs may acquire heartworm disease as opposed to the famous generalization that long-haired dogs might have a better protection against mosquito bites that may carry larvae of these worms. This generalization was proven false as equally, dogs, long-haired or short, may be victims of heartworm disease.

Early detection of heartworm disease may save a dog’s life through the drug that may be injected to flush and totally kill the worms in the dog’s body. However, knowing the symptoms of heartworm disease is a plus for every dog owner to take immediate treatment against heartworm disease.

However, detecting the symptoms may be quite hard since there are different symptoms for every dog. Each has its own special case. In any case, early detection is very significant for veterinarians to treat the said disease. Among the early signs and symptoms of heartworm disease to watch out in dogs are: (1) intolerance to tiring activities. When your dog tends to get easily tired even after short play or walk in the park, a heartworm disease may be one of the possible causes affecting it. (2) Gasping for breath is also one of the symptoms and (3) frequent coughing. Dogs that may have acquired heartworm disease may (4) fall from exhaustion and develops a yellowish appearance and exhibits convulsions as well as eye-sight problems. And lastly, when the dog becomes skeletal or undernourished, it may eventually lead to its expiration.

Using chemical therapy, infected dogs may be cured when heartworm disease is detected during its on-set. Administered over a long period of time, the treatment of heartworm disease may require a lot of rest from playing and walk in the park for dogs. Although there is a very strong drug that has very toxic effect to the worms, the dead worms that may be killed may also be flushed into the blood vessels therefore this instance may likewise be fatal to the dog. This is the main reason why treatment of heartworm disease through chemical therapy must be conducted by a veterinarian.

Aside from chemical therapy that your dog may undergo to treat heartworm disease, surgery is also a good choice although the decision on doing this may not come from the dog owner. Meanwhile, dog pills are likewise available to treat young worms and kill them so they would not mature and develop in number. However this kind of medication cannot guarantee 100% heartworm-free dogs since dogs may always be victims of heartworm disease especially during mosquitoes’ peak season. This is why dog owners should take care of their dogs’ very well, looking after them and observing symptoms of heartworm disease.


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