After an infected mosquito (with Heartworm larvae) bites a dog, the parasite will try to take over. Within 7 months, up to 250 fully grown Heartworms up to 12” long attach themselves inside the heart, blood vessels, and lungs. Mosquito bites from infected mosquitoes are the only way our Dogs and Cats can contract the Heartworm parasite. Heartworms are in every state, so no part of the US is immune. It only takes 1 bite from an infected mosquito to pass this parasite onto our best friends.
The maturity period is approx. 7 months from the bite to as many as 250 fully grown Heartworms inside those vital organs and vessels so we can’t put it off. As the infected heart gets more and more crowded with these worms, most dogs will develop a cough and show signs of respiratory stress and fatigue. As they progress, the dog can have fainting spells due to poor blood circulation to the brain and retain fluids in their lungs due to restricted breathing.
Prevention is easy and by far much cheaper and better for the dog. Treatment for “positive” dogs not having a severe case is straight forward and can be treated with “slow kill” methods. Not every “Positive Dog” can be treated. Severe cases (like our Pops) must be carefully evaluated by blood tests. The killing of heartworms causes the worms to die and break-up. This break-up can cause blockage and of course, death. A doctor will evaluate each case and determine if the dog is candidate for the severe case treatment.
SHARK will proceed with the prevention and treatment of Heartworms for our dogs as part of the improved care we’ve all thoughtfully included in our recent Constitution and Mission Statement of February 11, 2020.
SHARK37 May 4th, 2020