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Nobody likes mosquitoes! Especially, your four-legged friends. Besides being just plain annoying, mosquitoes carry many diseases that affect both humans and animals. Heartworms are among the diseases that are carried by mosquitoes and can be a horrible disease for your furry friend to contract. The key to mosquito protection is prevention.
A heartworm is a parasitic worm that lives in the heart and lungs of an infected animal. The worms travel through the bloodstream, damaging arteries and vital organs as they go, finally finishing their trip to the lungs and heart about six months after the initial infection. Several hundred worms can live in one dog for up to five to seven years. Heartworm disease can be fatal and should be taken seriously.
Mosquitoes carry heartworms and transmit them from animal to animal. The life cycle of the heartworm is intricate. An animal must have at least two heartworms (a male and a female) in order for female heartworms to reproduce.
Struggled breathing, coughing, vomiting, weight loss, weariness, and fatigue after only moderate exercise are signs of heartworm infestation. However, some dogs exhibit no symptoms at all until late stages of infection. Heartworm treatment can be very expensive for you and very painful for your precious pet. This is why it is so important to have your pet examined by a veterinarian on a regular basis and to keep them on a preventative plan. Heartworms do not discriminate – any dog can get infected. And while it is less of a threat to cats, they can still get heartworms as well. So keep your feline friend protected too!
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Has your pet ever been heartworm positive?