Lately, there has been some disagreement in the dog owners’ community about heartworm prevention.
Some feel uncomfortable with giving their dog heartworm medication like Heartgard and other brands for a disease they feel that their dog is unlikely to receive.
However, if you look at the toll it can have on your dog’s health if they were to get heartworm, it may make you reconsider not protecting your dog against it.
Here’s some reasons why heartworm prevention is important for your dog:
Heartworm Can Cause Serious Damage to a Dog
Heartworm is a parasitic worm that can grow up to a foot long in your dog’s body and can live up to seven years in it. It travels to the heart and pulmonary arteries and lays its eggs.
Their presence can cause heart disease, lung disease, and damage to other organs in the body. Heartworm prevention would keep this from happening.
The heartworm medication would stop the worms in their tracks and kill the eggs before they hatched.
Heartworm is Everywhere
All fifty states in the United States are confirmed to have cases of heartworm in dogs.
The number of heartworm cases changes from state to state because of factors like humidity and wildlife proximity, with some states higher than others.
This is because heartworm in dogs is usually contracted by mosquitoes that have bitten wildlife that have heartworm disease such as wolves or foxes.
However, this still means that your dog can get heartworm whether you live in a rural or urban area.
No matter how small the risk of your dog getting heartworm may be in your particular state (if you live in the United States), it never hurts to be safe rather than sorry and to give your dog heartworm prevention.
Dogs Get Heartworm More Often Than You Think
It has been recorded that each year, out of fifty million dogs, two hundred and fifty thousand of them will get heartworm disease.
That is one in every two hundred dogs. This is the same odds of a person getting cancer.
Giving your dog heartworm medication will decrease the chances of your dog getting the disease. Another good reason to practice heartworm prevention with your dog.
There Are Few, If Any, Early Signs of Heartworm
Heartworm disease doesn’t start showing signs until the worms’ eggs have hatched and turned into larvae. This can take at least six months to occur.
When the signs do start to appear, they may include:
Lose in appetite
Reluctance to exercise
There is no telling how many worms have hatched or how much damage they have done to your dog before these signs appear.
There are times that the signs don’t appear at all and your dog can contract something serious before it’s found out that they have heartworm.
With heartworm prevention, you wouldn’t have to worry about whether your dog’s cough is just a cough or a sign of something much worse to come.
Treatment Is More Expensive Than Heartworm Prevention
The average cost of dog heartworm medication is $5 to $15 a month.
Meanwhile, the cost of treatment for a dog with heartworm — which includes costly visits to the vet for x-rays, blood tests, and injections — can cost anywhere from $400 to $1,000.
Heartworm prevention is not just another protection for your dog, but also a wise investment for your wallet.
Are You Keeping Your Dog Protected from Heartworm?
Why do you think it’s important to give your dog heartworm prevention? Or why don’t you? Tell us about it in the comments section below!