Being a pet parent, your heart is very close to your furry friend. But how about if your dog's heart becomes infected and slowly leads to fatal death? Here are some myths that you should know and that will save your dog from such a disaster.
Heartworms in dogs are deadly worms that cling around the dog’s
heart, lungs, liver and the blood vessels surrounding these organs.
These common parasites are transmitted through a mosquito bite.
They take around seven months to mature inside the dog’s body and
gain a length of around 12 inches. In the last reproductive stage of
their life cycle, they stay permanently in the host animal’s heart. They
cause severe diseases that may prove fatal. Worst result includes the
death of the infected dog.
Although, heartworms are not uncommon in dogs but there is hype surrounding them which
makes the pet parents highly worried. The fear of their pets contracting heartworms makes
Preventing heartworms in dogs is always more affordable than treating them. It not only saves
the budget but also saves the pet from painful and cumbersome situations. The basic problem
is that there are several myths about heartworms in dogs
This wrong information leads to confusion, and corrective absolute information lead to solution.
Veterinarian guidance and proper pet hygiene are the basic tools in dealing with these worms.
Symptoms Of Heartworms
If your dog goes through coughing, weight loss, exhaustion, lethargy,
unwillingness to play or exercise, unusual lung sounds, pale gums, bloody
urine, fainting, breathlessness, enlarged heart, enlarged lungs, enlarged
abdomen etc. then it is the time you need to get him checked by a
Gathering information is a good step but please check for the accuracy of
it. Many pet owners become victims of incorrect information and then end
up giving wrong treatments.
Common myths about dog heartworms
Heartworms exist in few areas only:
It is commonly said that heartworms are found in a few states of
America only. Well, this is an absolutely incorrect information. According
to the statistics, dog heartworms are found in all 50 states of the United
States of America.
So, if your pet shows any heartworm symptoms then the best measure is
to get him checked for the infection.
NO! These worms are not contagious and do not spread from one animal
to another or to humans. They spread only through mosquito bite. If a
mosquito has previously bitten an infected dog and then bites another one
then there are fair chances of transmitting the infection to the other dog.
Heartworms are endemic:
This is a myth! Heartworms are found in cats as well. Worms love furry
canines and felines and can infect any breed of them. Be it any age or
breed of dog or cat, he or she has a fair chance of contracting these
worms through a mosquito bite.
Heartworms are found only in dogs:
No heartworms in puppies and kittens:
It is another wrong knowledge about heartworms. Puppies and kittens do
not have immunity towards heartworms. Pet parents need to start cats
and dogs heartwormers from an early age of a few weeks. Get
veterinarian guidance about when to start these preventives to save
your pet from these deadly worms.
No dog heartwormers in winters:
Again a myth! Mosquitoes bite pets in all seasons be it warm spring or
summer season or the cold winters. They can catch hold of dogs and cats
at any time and thus need to be prevented in all seasons. In addition,
heartworm preventives should be administered to the pet in all seasons
across the year to give him impeccable protection against these worms
and diseases caused by them.
Indoor dogs are safe from heartworms:
Many pet parents hold the opinion that if the pet lives a predominantly
indoor life then he has less chances of catching a heartworm infection.
This is again a wrong notion that dogs that live an indoor life have no
chance of heartworms. Pests like mosquitoes can enter the house any
time leaving little room to save the pets from them. Therefore, the best
way to safeguard pets is to give them preventives and medications.
Monthly preventives are enough:
Studies suggest that monthly preventives can protect the pet from being
infected with new worms. The next big question here is what about those
worms that are already existing in the pet’s system? Well, they need to
be killed by a proper treatment in order to stop them from damaging the
pet’s internal system. Therefore, pet parents need to be cautious and
meticulous about destroying these parasites. Consulting a veterinarian is
the best idea.
Precautions for preventing heartworms
Once all these facts are known, pet owners must take considerable
measures to keep mosquitoes away from the house. Most natural ways of
doing this is by planting plants that repel mosquitoes in the house.
Lavender, lemongrass and rosemary have a strong repelling effect on
mosquitoes. Make sure your garden has all these plants. Their dry leaves
can be hung around the curtains to deter mosquitoes from entering the
Moreover, take veterinarian advice and start giving heartworm
preventives to the pet from an early age. Consult the veterinarian for
other options for dog treatments for heartworms. Be proactive about
seasonal changes and brace yourself for getting rid of heartworms in