Are you planning to perform a dog heartworm test at home?
It can be quite challenging for pet owners to diagnose heartworm in their dogs, especially during the early stages. Due to this reason, many veterinarians recommend pet owners get their dogs tested for heartworm on an annual basis.
Dogs in every state can catch heartworms, but the ones living in a place with warm climates and with high mosquito counts are more vulnerable to the disease. It is possible for an infected dog to show no symptoms or only show minor signs of the infection during the early stages. This is why owners often mistake heartworm disease for the common cold or other viral infection. However, some of the early signs of the heartworm, which owners should keep an eye out for, are too much coughing and reluctance to exercise.
The heartworms make a natural host out of the dog’s body. They live inside the dog, they grow into adults and reproduce. If an infected dog isn’t given timely treatment, the number of heartworms can grow up to hundreds and cause serious, lasting damage to the body organs such as the heart, arteries, and lungs.
Symptoms of heartworm disease in dogs
Some infected dogs may not show signs of heartworm during the early stages but the symptoms continue getting stronger and they get rather hard to miss.
However, some of the most commonly seen symptoms of heartworms disease in dogs are continuous coughing, a decrease in appetite, reluctance to exercise, weight loss and feeling tired all the time. In addition, as the disease progresses your dog becomes more vulnerable to other secondary, severe health issues that in extreme cases may even cause heart failure.
Furthermore, the increasing number of heartworms may also cause a blockage in the blood flow in the heart, leading your dog into a cardiovascular collapse. This is why it is important that you diagnose the condition of heartworm and get your dog the help it needs.