Heartworm disease is a serious matter for dogs, specifically your Bichon Frise. It can cause a variety of ailments in dogs and severely damage some of your pet’s major organs. Can you recognize the symptoms of heartworm disease in your Bichon?
The term “Heartworm” is a common name for the parasitic roundworm formally called Dirofilaria immitis. This worm is spread from host to host, specifically from the bite of a mosquito to a dog. Once an infected mosquito bites your Bichon, it will take approximately six to seven months for the larvae to mature into an adult heartworm. The female worm mates and releases her offspring into the dog’s bloodstream. The typical heartworm can live for up to seven years in a host dog.
So what are the symptoms of a dog with heartworms? Look for some of these signs in your pet. If any of them are evident, please get your pet to a veterinarian immediately.
1) An occasional unexplained cough.
2) A combination of an occasional cough and a decline in normal energy and activity.
3) Chronic coughing and weariness after mild physical activity.
4) Trouble breathing, abdominal lung noises.
Delaying the treatment of your dog that may be diseased with heartworm, could lead to severe damage of their liver, heart, kidneys and lungs.
The best treatment for any pet is prevention. There are FDA approved prescription drugs available from your veterinarian that can prevent heartworm disease. There are also some medications not available in the United States that may be a better choice for your pet as well. Consult with your Veterinarian for the best choice of drugs for your pet.
If your Bichon Frise is infected with heartworm, it is important to know that most dogs can be successfully treated. There are primarily two drugs on the market that are used in the treatment of heartworm in pets. One is Caparsolate Sodium and the other Immiticide. Although both contain arsenic, they are both very effective at killing the heartworms. It’s true that the medication is necessary to treat heartworms in your dog. However, understand that the process is not without cost to both you and your pet. The medication can be very toxic to your pet. As for you, the pet owner, treatment for heartworms can be very costly over the term required to treat your pet.
In conclusion, the best way to address a heartworm disease infection of your pet is to do the following:
- Use a preventative approach by using heartworm preventative products.
- Watch for signs of a possible infection.
- If infection of your pet positively identified, have your pet seen by a veterinarian for testing and treatment.
Being alert to your pet’s health is a daily process that could extend your pet’s longevity and even save its life.
We would like to announce that the “Bichon Tips” app, is now available at: http://mybichonfrise.com. Buy it now in the iTunes and Google Play Store! It features both written and audio tips, picture albums and Bichon photo sharing on Instagram.
Bichon Frise App