Heartworm disease is a serious disease that results in severe lung disease, heart failure, other organ damage, and death in pets, mainly dogs, cats, and ferrets. It is caused by a parasitic worm called Dirofilaria immitis.The worms are spread through the bite of a mosquito. The dog is the definitive host, meaning that the worms mature into adults, mate, and produce offspring while living inside a dog. The mosquito is the intermediate host, meaning that the worms live inside a mosquito for a short transition period in order to become infective (able to cause heartworm disease). The worms are called “heartworms” because the adults live in the heart, lungs, and associated blood vessels of an infected animal.
In the United States, heartworm disease is most common along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts from the Gulf of Mexico to New Jersey and along the Mississippi River and its major tributaries, but it has been reported in dogs in all 50 states.
Heartworm medicine for dogs doesn’t have to be confusing. There are really two types of heartworm medicine for dogs: (1) those that prevent heartworms in dogs; and (2) those that are used to treat heartworms in dogs after they become infected. Preventive medications come in several forms, including chewable pills, topical “spot-ons” and injectable medications. Because one form or another may be easier for owners to give their dogs and because some but not all products may prevent multiple parasites besides heartworms, owners and veterinarians should work together to determine the best product for an individual pet. The American Heartworm Society recommends year-round administration of heartworm preventives to ensure pets are protected from deadly heartworms.
If a dog becomes infected, the resulting heartworm disease can cause life-long damage. Treating heartworm infection and killing the adult worms that infect the dogs heart, lungs and arteries can be very expensive and requires months of treatment and multiple veterinary visits. During the treatment period, pets must be kept quiet, with exercise avoided. Medications for heartworm prevention and treatment are available only by prescription from veterinarians. Prevention is always the best option, as damage from heartworms can be permanent. Regardless of what owners read or hear from other owners, it’s important to understand that there are no “natural” products that can be used for either prevention or treatment. Always use FDA-approved products as recommended by your veterinarian.
Features of Heartworm Medicine For Dogs
Heartworm disease or dirofilariasis is a serious and potentially fatal disease. It is caused by a blood-borne parasite known as Dirofilaria immitis. Adult heartworms are found in the heart, pulmonary artery, and adjacent large blood vessels of infected dogs. Rarely, worms may be found in other parts of the circulatory system. Female worms are 6 – 14″ long (15 – 36cm) and 1/8″ wide (3 mm). Males are about half the size of females. One dog may have as many as 300 worms present when diagnosed. Adult heartworms may live up to five years. During this time, females produce millions of offspring called microfilaria. These microfilariae live mainly in the small vessels of the bloodstream.
Types of Heartworm Medicine For Dogs
Prices of Heartworm Medicine For Dogs
$30.49 – $124.99