Know the Signs: Heartworms

By August 16, 2017 Pet Care No Comments

Houston Vet with DogHeartworms are some of the great concerns for pet owners, particularly for dogs. They’re quiet killers; you may not know that your dog has them until the infection is widespread and difficult to treat. The best way to deal with heartworms is to get ahead of them; have your dog checked regularly and use medical prevention.

Yet, since the risk is always present, even if it’s low, it helps to know the signs.

Coughing and Difficulty Breathing: Heartworms don’t just attack the heart; they make their way into the lungs. They multiply there and in the veins. Any physical activity may cause coughing, or even fainting.

Weight Loss: Eating can become difficult and appetite may decrease. Thus, your pet may lose weight.

Lethargy: Your dog may seem tired more often. He may move slow and be less interested in the activities that he normally loves. Even small things suddenly become too much.

Because many of the symptoms associated with heartworms can resemble other common problems, diagnosing from home can be difficult. It is essential to see the vet if any of them appear. Other symptoms may include seizures, high blood pressure, nosebleeds, pneumonia, and more.

To diagnose, your vet will have to take blood samples to check for the antigens. Other blood tests may be necessary, as well as x-rays to view any swelling of the heart and lungs. Strange heart rhythms may be a sign, too. Your vet may want to perform multiple tests to be certain and to determine just how far the problem has progressed.

Treatment of heartworms can take a long time. Without it, they can kill. If your pet does not have protection, talk to your vet today. Come see us at Pet Vet Hospitals. Get your dog, or other pet tested, and put them on preventative medication now.