Heartworms are a serious topic when it comes to health care for dogs. They have been reported in every U.S. state and are a threat to most dogs. If a dog contracts heartworms, it can be difficult to treat — not to mention expensive.
What are heartworms?
Heartworms (Dirofilaria immitis) are parasites that can get into your dog’s blood vessels connecting your dog’s lungs to their heart. In some advanced stages, the heartworms will actually get into your dog’s heart.
Heartworms can get into your animals bloodstream from a mosquito. Other animals that have heartworms will have tiny larvae from the heartworms traveling throughout their bloodstream. When a mosquito bites them, they take on these tiny larvae. Later, if the same mosquito bites your dog, it can deposit these larvae into your dog’s bloodstream.
Again, if your dog contracts heartworms, they are costly and difficult to treat. Fortunately, they can be easy to prevent. Here are the top ways to ensure that your dog doesn’t contract heartworms:
3 Ways to Prevent Heartworms in Your Dog
1. Give your dogs the best food.
Home-cooked meals for your dog are, of course, best, but it can be difficult to keep up with cooking your dog’s meals all the time. If you can’t cook your dog’s meals yourself, you can still find the best available dog food at the store. Look for dog food that has whole food ingredients. You should also see a determinable listing of protein, carbohydrates, and vegetables on the food ingredients list.
2. Get your dog regular checkups.
Make sure that you are taking your dog to the vet for a regular checkup at least once every year. Your vet will be able to give your dog a full physical and check for signs and symptoms of heartworms and other parasites that you may have missed.
3. Use preventative heartworm medicine.
Your vet can provide you with a preventative medicine that will ward off and kill the heartworm larvae if it ends up infecting your dog. There are various types of this medicine.
You might choose the monthly topical medication that comes in a tube and is meant to be squeezed onto the back of your pet. You might also choose the injectable product, which lasts for six-months at a time. Or you might choose the oral tablet, which is to be taken monthly.
Contact North Hampton Animal Hospital
If you require heartworm treatment for your dog and you live in the North Hampton area, contact North Hampton Animal Hospital today for an appointment. At North Hampton Animal Hospital, we treat heart-worm in dogs as well as numerous other canine and pet ailments.
Our services include general surgery, exotic care, microchipping, allergy care, dentistry, ophthalmic surgery, nutritional counseling, oral surgery, vaccinations and wellness exams, radiology, weight management, and orthopedic surgery. For any of these services or others that we offer, make an appointment with us at your earliest convenience by calling our office at (603) 964-7222.