What are Symptoms of Heartworms in Dogs in Cooper City, FL?
What are Symptoms of Heartworms in Dogs in Cooper City, FL?
Heartworms are a significant problem for dogs. Many dogs who are untreated for heartworms become infected, so it’s crucial to get your dog tested and treated as soon as possible. If you think your dog may have symptoms of heartworms, it’s important to take him to the veterinarian in Cooper City, FL immediately to find out for sure.
4 Symptoms of Heartworms in Dogs in Cooper City, FL
In this article, we’ll explain some of the symptoms of heartworms in dogs. These symptoms all may have other causes, too. This is why it’s crucial to work with a vet for a professional diagnosis for your dog.
Class 1 Symptoms
Dogs in Cooper City with a Class 1 heartworm infection may only have a slight dry cough. They usually don’t show any signs at all, but the problem is already growing within their bodies by this time. At this stage, only a vet test would be able to show for sure whether or not your dog has heartworms.
Class 2 Symptoms
Class 2 heartworm symptoms in dogs include more frequent coughing. You will also notice your dog getting tired or winded very quickly, even after just a little bit of activity. Dogs that used to be particularly active will slow down quite a lot and won’t be as interested in playing for long stretches. Your dog may also breathe heavily when he’s exerted himself too much.
Class 3 Symptoms
When your dog reaches a Class 3 heartworm infection, he will become tired, winded, and exhausted after just a little bit of playtime or a short walk. He will cough often, even without doing anything to cause the cough. He may also have more trouble with breathing even when he’s at rest.
Class 4 Symptoms
A Class 4 heartworm infection is often fatal.
In this situation, a dog’s heart is so clogged with worms that blood can no longer flow correctly. Dogs must have emergency surgery if this occurs, and many dogs will not survive an infection left until it reaches this stage.
What Causes Symptoms of Heartworms in Dogs to Occur in Cooper City, FL?
Heartworms are a type of parasite that lives in a dog’s heart. They may also be found in lung vessels, depending on the severity of the infection. A single heartworm can live for up to seven years inside a dog’s body.
Heartworms are transmitted through mosquitoes. If a mosquito bites a dog that has heartworms and then bites a dog that does not, the second dog will be infected with heartworms too. Dogs with heartworms aren’t contagious themselves, however; the mosquito must bite both dogs for the disease to spread.
How to Treat Symptoms of Heartworms in Dogs in Cooper City, FL
There are a couple very important ways to help treat a dog who has heartworms. While these are generally the steps that will be taken to help your dog, it’s still important to listen to your veterinarian in Cooper City for the best advice and course of treatment for your dog.
Injection to Help Treat Heartworms
Dogs who are diagnosed with and are experiencing symptoms of heartworms will receive an injection to start treating the problem. This injection is meant to kill any adult worms in the dog’s heart. These dogs are also given an antibiotic at the same time. Either at the same time or shortly after, dogs are given a shot to kill the larvae as well.
Make Sure Your Dog Gets Plenty of Rest
After the first injection, an infected dog must rest completely. Any overexertion may cause severe complications as the adult worms die off and slowly become reabsorbed by the dog’s body. Dogs in Cooper City should rest for at least 30 days with absolutely no exercise during this time. They may only walk outside to go to the bathroom and then must go back to resting once again.
Keep An Eye Out for Coughing
Dogs who are recovering from a heartworm infestation will develop a noticeable cough. This cough will last for up to 2 months and may last even longer, depending on the situation. If the cough becomes very severe, the dog should be taken back to the vet, as there could be a complication with the treatment.
Heartworm Booster Vaccinations
After the 30-day rest period, the dog should receive two more booster injections to finish killing the adult heartworms that might be left. Dogs in Cooper City may also need diuretics if fluid buildup has occurred and may need pain relievers, depending on how severe the heartworm infestation is. Some dogs may need to go on diets for heart health after this time as well.
Additional Medication (If Needed)
If the infection is severe, the dog may require medication for heart failure for the rest of his life. Even in severe cases, however, dogs are likely to bounce back and become more active once again after the treatment is finished, even if they don’t return to their original level of activity.
Ways to Prevent Heartworm Symptoms for Dogs in Cooper City, FL
Your vet will help you find the right way to prevent heartworm symptoms for your dog. Most of these treatments are pills that you can give your dog monthly to prevent heartworms from being able to breed in his body. Some treatments may include topical application, as well. Depending on your dog’s health and any issues he may already have, your vet in Cooper City may choose one of these options over the other.
In most instances, you can also choose—such as, for example, situations in which your dog will not swallow a pill for any reason.
Your vet must perform a heartworm exam before treating your dog. This is because the heartworm preventative will cause more problems than benefits if given to a dog that already has heartworms. If your dog does have heartworms, your vet will find out through this exam and will be able to recommend a good treatment option for you.
Heartworms don’t have to be a death sentence for your dog. Many dogs live full lives and just need a little reduced activity when they have heartworms. Take time to work with your veterinarian to figure out what’s best for your dog moving forward.
See a Vet if Your Dog’s Experiencing Symptoms of Heartworms in Cooper City, FL
Prevention is the most important way to keep your dog healthy and free from heartworms. Talk to your vet for more information about preventing heartworm symptoms for your dog. Remember that your dog will be safe around other dogs that have a heartworm infection if he has been regularly treated, and that there’s no reason to worry about him catching heartworms from another dog in any situation without the presence of a mosquito.
However, for the sake of your dog’s health and safety, get him started on prevention as soon as possible.
At Embassy Lakes Animal Hospital, we’ll develop the best plan to help prevent your pet from getting heartworms, and help treat them if they’ve already been infected. We’re here to answer any questions you have and always make it our number one goal to have your dog live a long and healthy life with you. To make an appointment or for additional information, feel free to call our animal hospital!
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About Embassy Lakes Animal Hospital
Located in Cooper City, FL, we strive to do more than simply be a full-service veterinarian for your pet. Our decades of experience has served generations of families and their beloved pets and we look forward to serving you as well!