Heartworm disease in dogs is a disease that can be challenging and costly to treat, but the good news is that it is fairly easy and affordable to prevent. Often times, the disease in underestimated either because there’s belief that the disease isn’t widespread in a certain area, or more simply, dog owners aren’t aware of the impact the disease can have on their dogs’ health. Knowledge is ultimately power if you want to protect your dog from heartworm disease.
Heartworm Disease is Almost Everywhere
You may assume your dog is safe from heartworm disease for the simple fact that you live in a state where there are not many mosquitoes. Turns out though, this diseases is just about everywhere in the United States. Indeed, according to the American Heartworm Society, the disease has been diagnosed in all 50 states. It’s even been found in areas where years back vets would not consider at risk such as Arizona, California and Oregon. Fact is, even desert areas are now at risk because irrigation has provided mosquitoes with water sources that allows them to thrive and multiply at a fast rate.
Heartworm Disease is Costly to Treat
If you think you can get rid of heartworms as easily as you get rid of other types of worms, think again. In order to rid a dog of heartworms, a drug called Immiticide is required. Immiticide is an arsenic-based product that is given in a series of two to three injections. Before giving this drug, an extensive battery of tests will need to be given including blood tests, x-rays and other tests, which along with the immiticide injections, can turn quite costly. According to Web MD, heartworm treatment costs could easily amount to $1,000!
Heartworm Disease can be Devastating
When a dog is infected, symptoms do not arise right away. Problems start when more and more worms start establishing in the dog’s heart and lungs causing the dog to cough, lose his appetite, experience weight loss and become exercise intolerant. If no treatment is initiated and the condition is allowed to progress, affected dogs develop heart failure lead to collapse and death.
Heartworm Treatment Can be Harsh
Even the heartworm treatment isn’t a walk in the park. The injections, given deep in the lower back, are painful and leave the dog sore for quite some time. Touching the sore area may be painful enough to trigger a dog to bite, explains veterinarian Wendy C. Brooks of Veterinary Partner. After treatment, the dog must be strictly confined for about one month because of the risk of embolism.
Heartoworm Prevention is Easy as Pie
You can easily save your dog from pain and suffering and save your wallet from expensive treatments by simply giving your dog a once-a-month tablet to protect your dog from heartworm disease. Many heartworm pills now also protect dogs from other pesky parasites such as roundworms and hookworms. Best of all, a year supply of heartworm meds for your dog can cost anywhere between $60 and $99 depending on the size of your dog which is quite little compared to pain, suffering and expense associated with heart worm disease