Here is a great article on the importance of using appropriate medication to prevent your pet from getting heartworm.
It also looks at the symptoms of heartworm and the different types of preventatives available on the market today. I am really delighted to bring you this informative article by Dr Thurmond and hope you find it both interesting and helpful.
Choose Low Cost Heartworm Medicine For Dogs Over Costly Cures
by D. Thurmond, D.V.M.
Heartworm disease is diagnosed in dogs throughout the country but is most prevalent in the Southeastern states where hot, humid climates have high mosquito populations. Heartworm medicine for dogs is a must for responsible pet owners.
This is an insidious parasite with symptoms that may not appear until the disease is well advanced. An active dog with a light infestation of the worms may not show any symptoms which is why testing by your vet should be a part of standard health care for your dog.
Symptoms that may be observed are coughing and your vet may notice unusual lung sounds during a routine visit. Your dog may quickly tire when exercised. For severe cases of the disease, dogs may have enlarged livers and experience loss of consciousness briefly due to poor blood flow to the brain. A distended abdomen may indicate fluid retention and is an indicator of heart disease. The test strip used by your vet in a blood test will have a line that is pale to darker blue for a positive test for heartworm.
A positive result from the blood test for heartworm may be followed up by an angiogram and ultrasound to determine the amount of damage caused to the animal’s organs. The antigen tests now used will not detect heartworm disease in its earliest stages but are accurate in detecting heartworms that are seven or eight months old. The blood smear exam that is often part of a routine examination will verify the presence of heartworm disease but is not sensitive enough to rule out the early presence of the parasite.
It is unfortunate that so many dogs are infested with heartworm as the disease is so easily prevented. Mosquitoes carry the larvae and transmit the parasite when they bite the animal. More than thirty species can be infected with heartworm but dogs seem to be the perfect host.
Heartworm larvae develop inside the canine’s body and migrate to the heart and lungs as well as residing in blood vessels. The cycle begins again when the mature worms reproduced inside the dog and the microfilariae are picked up by mosquitoes and spread to other animals. One dog may have only 2-3 heartworms while another may have as many as 250 present. The worms can live inside your pet for 5-7 years with males growing to 4-6 inches and females reaching 10-12 inches in length at maturity.
Heartworm Medicine For Dogs
Heartworm medicine for dogs provides protection for the animal in a manner that is safe and cost effective. There are topical treatments applied monthly and injections that shield the animal for six months at a time. The most popular heartworm medicines for dogs are:
Heartgard (Ivermectin) – A beef flavored wafer given monthly prevents canine heartworm disease and also treats roundworms and hookworms. Heartgard may be used after a diagnosis of heartworm disease to limit further development of the parasite.
Sentinel – Flavor tabs administered monthly kill heartworm larvae before signs of the disease appears. Sentinel should not be used for animals who test positive for heartworm disease.
Revolution (selamectin) – A spot on treatment with multiple benefits. Revolution is an effective heartworm medication for dogs and also protects from fleas and other parasites.
Interceptor (milbemycin oxime) – A monthly oral pet medication that can be used on puppies over 4 weeks of age and also controls roundworms and hookworms. Interceptor is safe to use in pregnant and nursing dogs.
Providing heartworm prevention for your dog is simple and inexpensive. Protect your dog from parasitic heartworms and painful treatments when you buy online from a veterinarian at http://www.petscriptsdirect.com.
Dr Thurmond’s article is very helpful in pointing out the range of heartworm prevention medicines available. Heartworm prevention is much cheaper than having to have treatment for a dog infected with adult worms.