As I sit here looking out at all the rain, I got to thinking about heartworm this morning. In the midwest, where we are, it has been raining buckets for a couple of weeks. The picture here is the Holmes County, OH fairgrounds.
There is standing water EVERYWHERE, and where there is water, there are mosquitoes hatching. Don’t forget that mosquitoes are the carriers for heartworm, which can be devastating to your dog.
According to the American Heartworm Society, the clinical signs associated with heartworm disease are as follows;
- Early Infection: No abnormal clinical signs observed
- Mild Disease: Cough
- Moderate Disease: Cough, exercise intolerance, abnormal lung sounds
- Severe Disease: Cough, exercise intolerance, dyspnea (difficulty breathing), abnormal lung sounds, hepatomegaly (enlargement of the liver), syncope (temporary loss of consciousness due to poor blood flow to the brain), ascites (fluid accumulation in the abdominal cavity), abnormal heart sounds, death
Many people give heartworm preventative year-round, but others provide it only May through December, when the risk is highest. Whichever protocol you use, just make sure you mark your calendar to give the medicine on the same day each month.
Until next time,
Good day, and good dog!