Heartworms in Dogs- A Mosquito Driven Nightmare

Author: Mosquito Squad

Heartworms only come from a mosquito bite!

Dogs are our precious companions. They are members of our family. Just like the rest of the family, we want to protect them when they are outdoors. While most of us think of mosquitoes as a nuisance to people (even though they can be more than a nuisance) they can be downright dangerous to your dog. Heartworms are carried by mosquitoes and the ONLY way your dog can contract heartworms is from a mosquito bite. This is the bad part. It can be as long as seven months before you know your dog has contracted heartworms and it is an expensive cure.

Heartworm life cycle

This chart shows why heartworms can be hard to detect in dogs. The life cycle is extensive and a timely process from the initial mosquito bite. 

WebMD has a great article about the facts and myths of heartworms and heartworm prevention. 

Symptoms

Very few dogs show any signs of  infection. That is why this disease is dangerous. The first sign of heartworm disease is premature aging. Dogs may gray prematurely around their muzzle and forelegs. Their coat loses its shine and their activity level decreases. Owners often don't notice that because it occurs so gradually and many write it off as "my dog is just getting old". This occurs much slower or not at all when a dog only has a few mature heartworms.

After a more prolonged infection, your dog may develop a dry hacking cough. This is from fluid accumulating in the lungs as circulation is becoming more impaired, a bronchitis that develops from the heartworm being in the small blood vessels of the lungs, and an enlarged heart that is pressing against the dogs trachae.

Later, as more adult heartworms are present, the tummy of the dog becomes bloated. This is due to fluid build up and an enlarged liver from poorer circulation. Eventually death will occur as the heartworms clog the arteries and the heart simply gives out from being overworked.

Prevention

Prevention is an easy thing to do. The first step is to just simply give your dog a heartworm preventative medication. This usually runs $35 - $80 a year, depending on the weight of your dog.

The next step is to clean up your yard and not provide a breeding area for mosquitoes that can attack your pets and family. Eliminating standing water is the key. Go to MosquitoSquad.com to learn and practice the 7T's of Mosquito Control.

An extra step is to treat your property with a Mosquito and Tick Barrier Treatment from Mosquito Squad. It offers a bite free environment for your family outdoors. Mosquito Squad is the authority in mosquito and tick prevention and can help with  heartworms and other infectuous diseases that mosquitoes and ticks carry. Call us at 336-793-8463 or email us at triad@mosquitosquad.com to learn more.