The good news is that many ailments in dogs can be treated if caught in time. The bad news is that a lot of owners do not pay enough attention to their dogs to know when to take them to the vet. A case in point is heartworm disease, described in this YouTube video.
Heartworms are transmitted by mosquitoes. A mosquito drinks from an infected animal and sucks up some juvenile heartworms.
Those juveniles grow inside of the mosquito. When they are ready, they move to the mosquito’s mouth. When the mosquito bites your dog, the juvenile heartworms are released into your dog’s bloodstream. They travel to the heart and grow, eventually killing your dog by blocking the arteries and blood vessels around the heart.
The first sign of heartworm disease is a persistent, low cough. Another early sign is that your dog is far more tired than usual. Whenever your dog acts differently, even in a small way, this is a sign to take your dog to the vet.
Although adult heartworms can be treated, the treatment is costly and difficult. Fortunately, you can protect your dog by giving a monthly heartworm preventative medicated chew. There is also a new injectable medicine that is given by your vet once or twice a year.