Dirofilariosis is a parasitic disease that can be very harmful to your dog. Figure out how you can protect him.
Dirofilariosis, also known as heartworm disease, is a high incidence parasitic disease. It is easy to treat and prevent, but can be very harmful to your dog. Figure out how you can protect him.
Causes of Dirofilariosis in Dogs
Dirofilariosis is a parasitic disease caused by the heartworm Dirofilaria immitis. The adult parasite settles in the pulmonary artery and in the right ventricle, while microfilariae are found in the peripheral blood vessels.
Tame and wild carnivores are attacked by these parasites. Dipetalonema dracunculoides is the most common Dirofilariose in dogs. It is usually transmitted by fleas or ticks.
The insect absorbs infected blood and passes on the microfilariae, which grow in the blood and settle as adults in the pulmonary artery, where they reproduce and release the microfilariae (their young form).
Dogs endangered by dirofilariosis
In particular, animals between three and six years suffer from this disease. Dogs younger than one year or older than 10 years of age will not be affected by this parasite. It is a disease that is more common in short coat dogs, so special care should be taken in this case.
Dirofilariosis often occurs in hunting dogs. As with Lyme disease, ticks are common carriers. You should therefore be particularly careful in forest areas where many mosquitoes and ticks occur in spring and summer.
Dirofilariosis: causes and diagnosis
Adult parasites cause endarteritis and reduce the diameter and elasticity of the vessels. This leads to high blood pressure and congestive right heart failure, which can cause congestion and liver failure.
The larval phases can cause allergic pneumonitis and thrombosis. The symptoms vary in severity and heart problems, making your dog tired quickly.
The diagnosis is made by the veterinarian who performs various blood tests to check if the animal has this disease. In endangered areas, a monthly inspection by the veterinarian is recommended.
How to Treat or Prevent Dirofilariosis in Dogs
Symptomatic treatment is required, which consists of a specific diet of heparin, diuretics and other medicines; In addition, surgical intervention is required in critical cases.
In order to eliminate the microfilaria, Ivermectin is used. Therefore, it is also the best way to prevent the disease. Treatment for adult parasites should be used after symptom improvement. It consists of medications such as levamisole.
Another form of prevention is paying special attention to ticks and removing them. Therefore, it is advisable to visit a reliable veterinarian after a sting, especially in the so-called endemic areas for Dirofilariose in dogs.
In general, it is sufficient to have your veterinarian’s vaccinations and worms regularly and to follow these tips to protect your pet from heartworm disease.