Worm Is Where The Heart Is: A Brief History of Heartworms

alex_article2.jpg

The first ever documented case of heartworm disease in dogs was published in an issue of The Western Journal of Medicine and Surgery in the United States in 1847 - more than a hundred years ago. Today, the heartworm, as dangerous as the first time it appeared, still poses a threat to our dogs. What are heartworms? The heartworm is a type of filaria, a small thread-like worm - they are parasitic roundworms that spread from host to host through the help of mosquitoes. When mosquitoes that carry heartworm larvae bite an animal, they also transmit the larvae. These larvae then mature, lodge in the dog┐s heart and other organs. Dogs are the most common heartworm hosts but heartworms can also affect other animals, even humans. Heartworms are very dangerous for both the pets and their owners. Heartworm disease can result in serious complications that include congestive heart failure and even death, if not treated immediately. The no. 1 defense against heartworms is the use of monthly preventative medication. By doing so, we can stop them even before they mature and have a chance to cause complications. How can we stop heartworms? alex_article2_stop.jpgHeartworms aren┐t called heartworms because they are lovable little creatures; they infest in and endanger the body┐s most vital organ - the heart. So, it is only right to treat them with utmost urgency when it comes to protecting our pet┐s health. Unfortunately, there are no clinical signs to watch out for at the onset of heartworm infestation; the symptoms and complications come in its later stages, and by then it might be too late. Our best bet is to prevent these parasites from ever making a host out of our canine friend. Below are 2 of the best options to consider when looking for heartworm preventative medication:
  1. Heartgard or its generic alternative Nuheart
  2. Both of these preventative medicines contain ivermectin which is used in a wide range of animals including cattle, horses, pigs, birds, and of course, cats and dogs. Ivermectin is very effective in killing heartworm larvae which are very sensitive to this chemical. In dogs, very low doses are sufficient for it to be effective.
  3. Revolution
Revolution is good for heartworm and flea control. It contains a parasiticide called selamectin which is effective against heartworm larvae, fleas, ear mites, sarcoptic mites and the American Dog Tick. Before using any of these, make sure that you consult your vet because using the wrong medication can cause more harm than good. When it comes to your dog's health, it's better to be safe than sorry, right?
Before using any of these, make sure that you consult your vet because using the wrong medication can cause more harm than good. When it comes to your dog's health, it's better to be safe than sorry, right?