Spring, summer and autumn are good seasons to go outdoors. Especially if you are raising a puppy, it is good to enjoy nature with a puppy. You can take a walk on the lawn, climb the mountain, or go to the beach and enjoy the freedom with the puppy.
However, this season is also the time of parasite breeding. That is, humans and pets are at high risk of acquiring diseases caused by fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes.
According to the annual parasite predictions released by the Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC), tick-borne diseases such as Lyme disease and heartworms are expected to become more prevalent this year. The disease has steadily increased over the last four years.
While pets and owners can be infected with numerous parasites, the most critical of them is the heartworm.
What is heartworm?
Heart sickle cell disease, often called heartworm, is a disease in which a pet is infected with a parasitic virus called a dog canker. This parasite is found in the heart and veins of a pet. Although found in both dogs and cats, cats are more common in dogs because they are not a natural host of heartworms.
Causes of heartworm
Heartworms are transmitted mainly by mosquitoes. When a mosquito that eats animal blood bites the animal and releases the heartworm larvae into the bloodstream of the animal, the larva travels in the bloodstream to the heart.
The larva begins to mature when it reaches the puppy's heart. And it gives birth to another larva. Micropilaria, a larva of the heartworm, damages the dog's health and causes catastrophic damage.
Symptoms of heartworm
It takes about six months for heartworms to reach the pet heart and mature. Meanwhile, infected animals have symptoms such as cough, coma, dyspnea, lethargy, abdominal swelling and weight loss.
Heartworms are classified into the first to fourth stages. Cardioplegic phase 1 does not show general symptoms, and phase 2 has weakness or symptoms of lack of exercise. By the third stage, the animal suffers from difficulty breathing, and the abdomen or chest area swells.
Cardioplegia 4 is a serious case of myocardial infections, and life threatening pets can be dangerous because heartworms block blood vessels and do not travel to the heart.
Diagnosis of heartworm
Blood tests, urine tests, and chest X-ray tests are performed for heartworms. The veterinarian identifies substances that can detect antibody or heartworm infection in the blood and urine of an animal, and checks the vasodilatation caused by heartworm by taking a chest x-ray.
If your pet has a heartworm, you should be treated according to the severity of the condition, and your pet may need to be admitted to a vet. Veterinarians first determine the symptoms and severity of pets and use oral medications to kill heartworm larvae. If you have heartworms in your pet's body, injections may be injected.
Heartworm treatment lasts at least a month. The duration of treatment depends on how much the pet responds to the drug. Also, if your pet has four heartworms, you may need to surgically remove heartworms. This is a very deadly condition and needs immediate treatment.
Since cats are rarely infected with heartworms, drugs to treat cats heartworms have not yet been developed. So if the cat is infected with heartworms, surgery should be done to remove the parasite.