Heartworm has only appeared in Hungary a few years ago, and since then, dog owners have been terrified every summer. Sneaky little beasts are not easy to eradicate, and if you don't act on time, parasites can be fatal for your pet. However, many dog owners do not know enough about these dangerous pests.
The lack of information can have serious consequences. Because the propagation of adult worms is also dangerous for our furry friends. Here's what you need to know about these organisms, what problems they can cause and, of course, how to prevent infection. Let's see the most important informations!
What is heartworm?
Heartworms are native to the tropics, but as Europe gets warmer, so have they come to us. Worms infect host-capable organisms through blood suction. They are dangerous not only to dogs but also to humans, but in our case, there is no need to fear death, unlike dogs.
The worm hits the farm in the lungs and heart, where it then begins a parasitic lifestyle. Like all parasites, heartworm feeds on the host, depriving it of the most important nutrients.
After the mosquito bites, the larvae enter the body. They develop fully in 3 months and begin to reproduce. Paroxysms in the arteries poison the bloodstream and cause serious damage to the internal organs.
What are the symptoms?
Like most worm infections, heartworm is often asymptomatic. This is especially true when the infection is mild. 1-2 worms do not yet have a decisive influence on the functioning of the organization, so they are not noticeable as an outside observer.
If the situation gets worse then, you will experience unreasonable fatigue, difficult breathing, coughing. However, only a screening test can give a definite result. The test is available at most veterinary surgeries, but you can also buy a quick test that you can easily get done at home. If the test is positive, consult your veterinarian immediately and treatment may commence.
How to prevent infection?
Traditional wormers are ineffective against heartworm. However, there are products that can be used effectively to prevent heartworms. This should be started at puppyhood or after a negative screening. If your dog is already infected these agents are not applicable, and worming can cause damages in the dog’s body.
In addition, of course, insect repellency should not be forgotten. Especially during the summer time, it is important to always treat your puppy with a spot-on or tablet to prevent the dog from insect bites.
Of course, there is a way to treat the infection. One option is medication, which can even kill adult worms. The other is the surgical procedure, which involves removing parasites from the animal's body. But it is worth knowing that both treatments are risky and difficult, it is better to prevent the infection.
Also, if your dog has been found to have a worm infection, you may also want to visit your GP for a worm medicine. This way, if you become infected, you can get rid of them before they can harm your body.
In addition to repelling insects and taking regular worming, don't forget to take care of your dog’s skin and coat! Our webshop awaits you with a wide selection of vegan and skin-friendly products that can effectively take care of your four-legged friend's coat and skin.