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Heartworm Positive Dog

Heartworm Positive Dog

Do You Have a Heartworm Positive Dog?

For all intents and purposes, in 1856 was the first official case of a heartworm positive dog.  This first case was on the coast of the southeastern U.S., where heartworms are quite prevalent. However, a case was also discovered in South America in 1847 and in a horse way back in 1586.

Heartworm disease is quite serious and can even be fatal. It is prevalent all over the U.S. and worldwide, but is especially common in warm humid areas, such as Florida, where mosquitos thrive. The culprit behind this disease are heartworms, which infected mosquitos transmit.

These worms can grow to be a foot long and they live in the blood vessels, lungs and heart of the poor animal.  They can also cause organ damage, heart failure, and lung disease. Many animals are susceptible to heartworm disease.  However, dogs are it’s natural hosts. That means that the heartworms thrive and grow inside of heartworm positive dogs, becoming mature adults and producing offspring.

Treating a Heartworm Positive Dog

When you do not treat a heartworm positive dog in a timely manner, this parasite increases in number.  This increase in heartworm numbers can cause lasting heart, lung, and artery damage.  Even after destructive parasites die, their carcasses can negatively impact your dog’s health.  As a result, heartworm prevention is optimal.

According to an American Heartworm Society survey of over 12,000 U.S. veterinary clinics, there were 250,000 heartworm cases nationwide in 2004. Certain areas of the country have a higher incidence of heartworm positive dogs, like Louisiana for instance.  Then, following Hurricane Katrina, many were relocated to new homes all over the country.  Thereby increasing the potential of heartworm hosts spreading the disease to other dogs. Another alarming factor in the fight against heartworm disease is global warming and its effect on the mosquito population.

That’s why it is so important for dog owners to be pro-active when it comes to heartworm prevention. In the event that you find yourself with a heartworm positive dog, you should talk to your veterinarian about giving your dog an effective heartworm treatment. Yes, you can cure a heartworm positive dog, but prevention is still the best for your dog and your wallet.

(The image above is a derivative of Joel mills, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Microfilaria.jpg; CC BY-SA.)

Heartworm Test