Dog Heartworm Test

Detecting heartworm infection early generally allows for faster and more effective response to treatment. While heartworm is both treatable and preventable, it is a serious and deadly disease that shows no signs in its early stage. Testing can ensure that your dog is heartworm free and preventives are working. Preventives are nearly 100% effective when administered properly.

What are the symptoms of heartworms in a dog?

Most dogs won’t show any sign of the infection during the early stages, making routine testing and preventives very important. Potential signs to watch for as the disease progresses include: coughing, lethargy, exercise intolerance, difficulty breathing, decreased appetite, weight loss, and later in the disease temporary loss of consciousness, fluid build-up in the abdominal area, head swelling, and death.

How do dogs get heartworm?

Larvae are transmitted through the bite of a mosquito carrying the infective stage of heartworm. These larvae mature into adult worms and migrate throughout the body, eventually living in the arteries of the lungs and the right side of the heart.

What are the treatment options for heartworms?

If your dog tests positive for heartworm, a treatment protocol will be made by your veterinarian. Oral medications (antibiotics and steroids) are started followed by anti-parasitic intramuscular injections of a drug known as Immiticide. The earlier an infection is detected, the better the outcome is for the dog.

Why is recovery and heartworm treatment challenging?

While the dog is receiving treatment, the parasitic worms are being killed and breaking down in the heart and bloodstream. During this time, the dog should be kept in a restricted activity/low-stress state. This will prevent the heartworm from breaking up too quickly and potentially causing severe cardiovascular complications.

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Water Intoxication

Water Intoxication in Dogs

Does your dog like to play in the water? Too much of a good thing can be dangerous, so look out for water intoxication!Water intoxication, also known as hyponatremia is a relatively rare but potentially fatal condition that is most commonly seen in dogs that love to play in the water. Water games that involve retrieving items or diving into pools to catch toys can cause them to ingest large quantities of water very quickly. It can also happen when they “catch” pressurized water from sprinklers or hoses.Excessive amounts of water cause the body to lose sodium. The body's cells begin to fill with water and swell. If the cells in the brain swell, it can affect the central nervous system which can be fatal.Symptoms include:loss of coordination lethargy bloating vomiting glazed eyes excessive salivation difficulty breathing seizures comaWater intoxication progresses quickly so if your pet has been playing in the water and begins to show any of the signs mentioned above, it's crucial to seek veterinary care immediately to save your dog's life.Treatment of water intoxication typically includes IV delivery of electrolytes, diuretics and drugs to reduce brain swelling. With aggressive veterinary care, some dogs are able to recover, but sadly, many do not.It's important to closely watch dogs that are very active in water and ensure they take regular breaks in between playing. Be especially careful on days when the water is rough. If your dog empties their water bowl after playing hard or exercise, ensure they are rested before refilling the bowl.Familiarize yourself with the symptoms of water intoxication to keep your furry family member safe!If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at 204-269-8162 or by email at info@centennialanimalhospital.com.Written by Centennial Animal Hospital

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