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Thread: Hearworm Questions

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Default Hearworm Questions

    Ok as I have never owned a dog before I am still learning. A freind asked me about heartworm and as I have no idea I said I would ask here.

    She wants to know

    1. how do dogs get it

    2. What sypmtoms does it present with

    3. what is the treatment

    4. can they still get it if on heartworm medication

    5. can any dog get it





    many thanks to you wise dog owners in advance
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v604/Jenelle66/sigs/puss_jarrah-siggy-3.jpg

  2. #2

    Default

    Hey Jarrah

    -These worms are transmitted by mosquitos as larvae
    -When fully grown they're the size of earthworms. Most vets have examples to show, ask your vet to show you when you're there next
    -They live in the heart
    -Can lead to hear failure, blood clots depends how infested the dog is, how big,old the dog is
    -Symptoms range from lethargy, collapse, weight loss, coughing
    Blood test can be done to see if heartworm is present
    * Prevention is always better than cure*
    You can give monthly prev. treatment or annual injection.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    2,561

    Default

    Actually, they are longer than earth worms, but not the width. They are very thin and white in colour.

    Now, your questions:

    1. how do dogs get it - mosquitos carry the 'baby' heartowrms, known as microflaire. When an infected mosquito bite the dog, it injects the microflaire in its saliva into the dog.

    2. What sypmtoms does it present with - microflaire infected dogs show no symptoms. These baby heartworm move to the heart though where they grow into adult worms and effectively strangle the heart. Dogs infected with adult heartworm show heart related symptoms such as coughing, shortness of breath, fluid build up on the lungs and or heart, lethargy, resistance to exercise and activity.

    3. what is the treatment - Infected dogs with adult heartowrm are treated with an aresenic compound that is injected intravenously. This causes the worms to die and break up whcihc, in itself, is also potentially life threatening. Dogs undergoing treatment are kept as inactive as possible to avoid clots and stress on the heart and lungs. Microflaire are genereally killed off by heartworm preventative medications. A simple blood test will determine if your dog has heartworm and this can then be treated before it gets to the life threatening stage.

    4. can they still get it if on heartworm medication - no, not if the medication is given at the correct dosage and frequency. As stated above, the preventative medication will kill off any microflaire in the blood stream in the dog.

    5. can any dog get it - yes, any dog that resides in areas where they are mosquitos (infected mosquitos) and that can be bitten by a mosquito. Long haired dogs with thick coats and dogs that are mainly indoors when mosquitos are out are at less risk obviously.
    Last edited by Anne; 08-05-2009 at 07:37 AM. Reason: dyslexic fingers.......
    A pessimist sees the glass as half empty;
    An optimist sees the glass as half full;
    A realist just finishes the damn thing and refills it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Brisbane
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    Default

    thanks guys. Am going to print this off for her to read
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v604/Jenelle66/sigs/puss_jarrah-siggy-3.jpg

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Spellink errors and all...... I cringe sometimes when I look back at my posts and the typos *lol*
    A pessimist sees the glass as half empty;
    An optimist sees the glass as half full;
    A realist just finishes the damn thing and refills it.

  6. #6

    Default

    Me 2

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