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Dog Heartworm Medication – A Treatable Ailment

A heartworm infection in your dog can be a very serious health problem but can be prevented with an effective dog heartworm medication. If you own a dog, you should understand what heartworm is and how to find an appropriate heartworm medication for your pet.

Because there are many different type of medications to treat heartworm in your dog it is always best to consult your veterinarian to assist you in making the best decision for your dog.
Remember, dog heartworm medications are not all the same and some may even harm your dog, depending on her breed. Because all dogs, even large dog breeds, are susceptible, you can simply not ignore this potential infection.

Understanding Dog Heartworm

The parasite that causes heartworm lives in your dog’s heart and is transmitted to other dogs via a mosquito bite unless treated with a proper dog heartworm medication. The heartworm larvae move through the bloodstream of an infected dog and are picked up from mosquitoes where they then transform into microscopic adults.

These adults are then transmitted to other dogs via another mosquito bite where they then move their way through the bloodstream and take up residence in the chambers of the dog’s heart. Symptoms of a dog infested by heartworm will vary but might include lethargy, shortness of breath and coughing. A blood test administered by your veterinarian will be the only way to truly determine if your dog has the parasite or if preventative medications for heartworm should be prescribed.

Medications Used to Prevent Dog Heartworm

The good news for your dog is that this parasite can be prevented with the proper dog heartworm medication, but note that there are different treatments for a dog who already has heartworm versus a preventative medication for a dog who has not yet acquired the parasite. Before you begin treatment of your dog with any type of heartworm medication you should visit your vet for a blood test to determine if your dog is already infected.

Some heartworm medications cause serious complications in a dog who already has the parasite. Additionally, you should consult your vet to determine the right kind of treatment for your dog. Most treatments are administered orally once-a-month via a pill or in a liquid form. In warmer climates where mosquito activity is prevalent year round, it may be necessary to treat your dog throughout the year.

Otherwise, a heartworm medication can be given monthly once mosquito activity becomes a problem in the spring and stopped with the onset of colder temperatures in the fall.

Preventing Heartworm in Your Dog

  • There are several things to keep in mind and ask your vet before you begin treating your dog with a heartworm medication:
  • Is my dog already infected with the heartworm parasite?
  • Should I get a medication in pill or liquid form?
  • Should I administer heartworm medications year round?
  • Are there other type of parasites I want to treat with this medication?
  • What are the possible side effects of this treatment?

Heartworm in your large breed dog can be a serious health concern but can be prevented with the proper heartworm medication. You owe it to yourself and your dog to be informed and treat your dog correctly.

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