Has your dog been tested for Heartworms?
Signs of heartworm disease
Outward signs may not be apparent until a year after infection and may begin simply as a soft cough. As the disease progresses, the infected dog will find it more difficult to breathe, his quality of life can severely diminish, and as congestive heart failure occurs, the animal can die. Severity of disease depends on the number of heartworms present.
According to the American Heartworm Society, clinical signs of heartworm disease can range from no signs at all to cough, exercise intolerance, difficulty breathing, and fainting.
All dogs should be tested annually for heartworm infection. Annual testing will ensure that an infection is caught in plenty of time to effectively manage it. If the test is negative, we are given a prescription for a monthly heartworm preventive such as Heartgard Plus.
What you need to know about heartworm
If there are mosquitos in your area, then your dog is at risk. While it’s most common on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts and along the Mississippi River and its tributaries, heartworm has been reported in all 50 states.
Even after successful treatment, a dog can be infected again. Heartworm isn’t like the measles, where once you’ve had it you can never get it again. Protection against it is a lifelong need.
If you love dogs like I do — and I know you love your dogs — the simple step of taking preventative measures now can insure that you’ll avoid this potentially fatal, difficult to treat disease. Remember: a Pack Leader’s job is to provide direction and protection. This is just another way to make sure that your dogs are protected, safe, and happy.