You may be surprised to learn that cats, horses and wolves can all be affected by heart worm, and it isn’t just your dog that can get these irritating worms. However, heart worm in dogs is fairly common, and it is relatively easy to treat it.
Ivermectin is just one of the medicines that are available that can help prevent your dog from getting heartworm in the first place. The drug is effective as it is able to trigger your dog’s defensive mechanisms. A dull disposition, chronic panting and coughing are signs that your dog may have heart worm.
The male worm can grow to a length of 17 centimeters, while the female worm can actually reach a length of up to 27 cm. Mosquitoes and other insects are often used as carriers by the worms.
If you own a dog, it is important to take steps to prevent other diseases too, and to be able to recognize the signs of an infestation. These include roundworm whip worm and hookworm, all of which can affect your dog. Like heart worm, these parasites are often transmitted through mosquito bites.
Heart worm and other parasites can be caused by mosquitoes in any part of the world in which mosquitoes are found, and of course the risk is generally higher during the warmer months, as mosquitoes aren’t as prevalent during colder months. You should make a point of having your dog vaccinated before the warmer months, to increase your chances of preventing heart worm and other parasites. Your vet can probably recommend vaccinations such as milbemycin oxime or Ivermectin which can be administered orally as well as the drug diethylcarbamazine for therapy.
As a pet owner you probably already know that medications for your dog can be expensive, and it pays to check the prices and perhaps do some comparison shopping. As a general rule, you should give your dog Ivermectin at least several weeks before the mosquito season actually begins. You should also make sure your dog has the vaccination for up to a couple of months after the season has ended, just to be on the safe side and to protect against any mosquitoes around after the season. Always consult your vet to get information about preventing parasites, and the right dosage to give.