What do you know about heartworm disease? You may have heard about Immiticide heartworm treatment and its efficacy. But only a few understand what heartworm disease or what can be done to treat it fast. This is what you are about to learn in this post.
However, understand one thing: all dogs are susceptible to heartworms unless they are on preventive medication.
What is Heartworm Disease?
Heartworm disease is a potentially fatal ailment caused by long and slender worms or parasites. These worms can develop and grow as long as one foot. This disease affects cats, dogs, and ferrets. It also affects wildlife such as foxes, coyotes, bobcats, mountain lions, wolves, etc.
Transmission of Heartworms
Mosquitoes transmit heartworms from one animal to another. The insects bite an infected animal or pet. Then they transmit the larva to another animal when they eat blood meals.
The heartworms move to the right side of the infected animal’s heart. They are usually found in the pulmonary artery as well as the adjacent blood vessels of infected pets. Once there, they start to grow until they reach the adult stage.
This is when they are highly capable of causing irreparable damage to the lungs and heart even before your pet starts showing signs of any disease.
Diagnosing Heartworm Disease
Most canines usually have advanced heartworm disease long before they are diagnosed. The heartworms have been present just long enough to bring about considerable damage to the heart, blood vessels, lungs, liver, and kidney.
To diagnose heartworm disease, the veterinarian will need to use blood tests to check for the disease.
An antigen test quickly detects some heartworm protein known as antigens. Adult female heartworms release antigens straight into the bloodstreams of the pet.
In some cases, the veterinarian can detect infections with one or more female adult heartworms by carrying out antigen tests.
How to Treat Heartworm Disease?
Some risks are involved in treating heartworm disease in pets. However, fatalities are surprisingly rare, despite the seriousness of the ailment.
Before now, there was a drug used for treating heartworms. But it was soon discovered to have dangerous levels of arsenic. The toxic side effects of this element occurred frequently, and the outcome was less than favorable.
Immiticide Heartworm Treatment
But a new drug is now available for treating heartworm disease. This drug does not exhibit as many side effects as the previous one. And it has been used for treating over 95 percent of dogs with heartworm disease successfully.
Melarsomine—brand name Immiticide – is an injectable drug that is administered to kill off adult heartworms. The Immiticide treatment destroys the adult heartworms in the heart as well as the adjacent blood vessels.
Immiticide is administered in a series of injections. Your local vet is in the best position to determine the injection schedule, though this depends on your dog’s condition.
Most dogs receive an initial Immiticide injection, followed by a period of rest spanning 30 days, and the 2 more injections are administered precisely 24 hours apart.
Side Effects of Immiticide Treatment for Pets
Some side effects of Immiticide treatment for pets:
- It may cause some tenderness, pain, and swelling.
- Most pets show reluctance to move after receiving an Immiticide injection.
- Firm nodules at the Immiticide injection site may persist indefinitely.
Immiticide heartworm treatment is a medical procedure that should only be undertaken when the benefits far outweigh the risks. You can learn even more about heartworm disease and its step-by-step Immiticide treatment here.