Weston is looking for his fur-ever home! He is a sweet boy who is currently going thru heartworm treatment. But what exactly is heartworms and how do you treat it?
Heartworms is a serious disease that is cause by worms in the heart and causes heart failure, organ damage, and sometimes even death. However, preventing it causes the same amount as getting a cup of coffee each weekday. Heartworm is especially important to talk about due to it being extremely common in places close to the water (aka along the Atlantic or Gulf coast in Florida).
According to the FDA, here are signs that your dog could have heartworms:
- Class 1: No symptoms or mild symptoms such as an occasional cough.
- Class 2: Mild to moderate symptoms such as an occasional cough and tiredness after moderate activity.
- Class 3: More severe symptoms such as a sickly appearance, a persistent cough, and tiredness after mild activity. Trouble breathing and signs of heart failure are common. For class 2 and 3 heartworm disease, heart and lung changes are usually seen on chest x-rays.
- Class 4: Also called caval syndrome. There is such a heavy worm burden that blood flowing back to the heart is physically blocked by a large mass of worms. Caval syndrome is life-threatening and quick surgical removal of the heartworms is the only treatment option. The surgery is risky, and even with surgery, most dogs with caval syndrome die.
Don’t be alarmed! If your dog, or you are looking to adopt a dog who happens to have heartworms, treatment is available. Treatment can be hard on the dog and pocketbook, but leads to a healthy and happy dog.
To find out more about Weston head to fursisters.org.