Heartworms An Ounce of Prevention

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Heartworms An Ounce of Prevention

by Jed Yorkshire

Imagine ? worms actually living inside your dog?s beating heart. It?s not something out of a sci-fi movie ? it?s real, and it?s not at all pleasant.

The way dogs develop heartworms is fairly simple: Heartworm larvae travel inside mosquitoes ? and when the carriers bite your pooch, the larvae makes their way to your dog?s heart, where they feed on the lining of the heart and block life-sustaining arteries.

As with a lot of diseases and disorders, prevention is the key. So, having your dog tested for heartworm, then ? if he gets a clean bill of health ? starting him on a heartworm prevention/parasite barrier regimen is important.

According to PETCO, some of the preventive medications available (by prescription only) that offer superior protection against heartworms are:
? Interceptor ? a chewable tablet that guards against heartworms, hookworms, roundworms, and whipworms.
? Sentinel ? combines Interceptor with Program, a flea-control agent.
? Heartgard Plus ? a chewable cube that guards against heartworms, hookworms, and roundworms.
? Proheart ? a tablet that protects against heartworms.
? Revolution ? a topical liquid medication that guards against heartworms, fleas, ticks, ear mites, and sarcoptic mange mites. Of course, in some cases, prevention might come too late. So if your dog is experiencing symptoms such as:
? Difficulty breathing
? Coughing
? Fatigue
? Listlessness
? Weight loss
? Rough coat

You should see your veterinarian immediately. The cause could be heartworms ? or one of any number of other treatable diseases. If your dog has been infected with heartworms, the treatment won?t be easy, inexpensive or risk free, but if you ? and your pooch are fighters, then your vet can help you through the situation.

Jed Yorkshire is a retired teacher and pet enthusiast who writes about canine health topics, specialty breeds, animal training and grooming. An avid pet lover and breeder, he owns four beautiful Giant Schnauzers. Yorkshire also works as a private pet behavior consultant.

Jed Yorkshire - EzineArticles Expert Author

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