Once a heartworm enters your dog’s digestive system, it can grow up to 12 inches long and live as long as five to seven years. Your dog will exhibit one or more clear signs it is suffering from heartworms.
If you notice one of the symptoms below, bring your dog to Normandale Veterinary Clinic for a checkup and a diagnosis. We can provide the right treatment that will get rid of the heartworms and restore your dog back to good health.
1. A Quiet, Dry Cough
A heartworm will enter the lungs and multiply throughout the lung cavity and the surrounding veins. Once they burrow there, they can cause a dog to feel fatigue. They have the same reaction as a human with bronchitis. Thus, you may notice the dog coughing after light or heavy exercise. In severe cases, the dog may faint after activity.
2. Appears to be Lazy All the Time
Your canine seems to avoid all physical activity including going outside. The heartworm is weakening the dog's systems, and infection has emerged. In late stages, your pet will resist doing any activity including standing up. You’ll need to seek treatment as soon as possible. Your dog is now is in severe condition.
3. Weight Loss, Zero Appetite
If a dog does not want to eat anything, you know there is something wrong. At this stage, the dog’s condition has deteriorated to the point that even eating seems like hard work. With no food in the body, your dog will no longer have the energy it needs to build a healthy immunity to the heartworm.
4. Irregular Breathing
Breathing problems develop when the worms start growing in the lungs and surrounding veins. Fluid can also build around the blood vessels in the lungs, making it challenging for the lungs to oxygenate the blood. This condition makes it difficult for a dog to breathe normally. You should notice your dog breathing rapidly for extended periods, or it seems to be struggling to breathe.
5. Bulging Chest
The ribs may seem to stick out farther than usual, and the chest has a bulging appearance. Bulging happens as a result of adult heartworm infection. This symptom can result from weight loss and anorexia caused by heartworms. This can also be caused by fluid buildup, a side effect of the worm’s presence.
Normandale Veterinary Hospital Can Treat Your Pet
Don’t let heartworms get the best of your dog. Heartworm infections and the subsequent health conditions are treatable. If you suspect that your dog has heartworms, bring it to Normandale Veterinary Hospital. We provide general care, vaccines, surgery, and grooming for dogs, cats, and other pets. To schedule an appointment contact us at (952) 831-8272, or you can message us on our contact page.