Heartworm is a type of worm that lives in the hearts and lungs of dogs and cats. If left unchecked, it can cause heart failure, severe lung disease, as well as the failure of other organs in the body. Heartworm is transmitted from one host to another through a bite from infected mosquitos. The dog is the natural carrier for heartworm, and if left untreated, studies show that they can accumulate as many as 250 heartworms in their heart, lungs, and the surrounding blood vessels.
Prevention is Better than Cure
Since you cannot tell an infected mosquito from the rest, it is necessary to vaccinate your dog and prevent the pain the dog will suffer. Presently, there are preventive medicines; some are administered monthly while others twice a year. Here are reasons why you should vaccinate your dog for heartworm using the 6-month preventive medication:
- Administration of heartworm vaccination is done every six months by a veterinarian, and this encourages bi-annual checkup of your dog.
- The preventive medicine also helps in the treatment of hookworms.
- You will not have to worry about forgetting your monthly preventive pills to keep heartworm at bay, the vaccine will be effective for six months, and you will not forget their next veterinarian visit.
- Vaccination avoids the high cost of heartworm disease treatment.
However, if your dog is already infected, treatment is the only option. Ensure to keep other dogs in your home vaccinated and save them from a long and painful death.
Nowadays, governments are encouraging irrigation of arid and semi-arid areas, and this promotes the spread of mosquitos. This means that preventive medicines/vaccines are the best way to keep your dog heartworm free.