A Short Primmer on Heartworm Disease
Canine Heartworm disease, otherwise known by its medical name – Dirofilaria immitis – is basically a worm/parasite infestation issue that is most often transmitted from dog to dog by a mosquito. Those ‘blood-sucking’ mosquitoes are quite famous for passing hundreds, if not thousands of different kinds of infections from host to host – whether viral in nature or parasitic in nature – as is the case with this particular ‘worm type’ parasite (with a difficult name to pronounce). So, let’s see how the process of spreading this type of disease typically works:
- A dog with heartworm infection is likely hosting mature heartworms, which can be a foot long or more.
- The mature heartworms produce offspring, and these tiny worms are microscopic in size.
- The blood-thirsty mosquito bites the dog and gathers blood that carries these ultra-tiny baby worms.
- That infected mosquito then becomes an incubator for the developing heartworm (microfilariae).
- Within 2-weeks, the baby worms develop in the mosquito, becoming larvae that can then infect the next dog.
- Once the infected mosquito bites another dog, infecting larvae are then transmitted to that dog.
- The larvae live in the dermal layers for a time, eventually migrating and maturing near the heart.
- As heartworms develop into adults, then they release their microfilariae (babies) into the bloodstream.
- The infected dog is bitten by a mosquito, and the cycle begins again.
Adult heartworms live within the heart and the surrounding blood vessels, restricting the flow of blood and impeding the function of the heart. Heartworm infestation is very serious and can become a life threatening condition. Thankfully, this condition can be easily avoided by the use of heartworm preventatives. It is of special concern that you use the right type of heartworm medication for your particular breed of dog.
Though Dogs are the most frequent victims and carriers of this illness, many other animals can be affected, including Cats. And humans have been known to catch such an infection. Be sure to review the official AHS article (below) to assess your animal for early signs or symptoms.
Obviously, Heartworm infection can be very serious and even deadly, and you should see your Vet for appropriate counter measures. Though, you should also be aware of the warnings provided below. Linda Arndt – the Great Dane Lady, recommends Interceptor as Heartworm preventative. Aside from medical approaches taken by your vet, there are certain NZYMES® products which can help strengthen your pet’s system and provide further help and protection throughout the clearing process and beyond.
For complete, in-depth information, see – The American Heartworm Society
Which NZYMES products are useful with dreaded Heartworm disease, and why:
NZYMES Treats OR Granules: Anytime a medication is required, we recommend to double the usage of the Antioxidant Treats or Granules a day or two prior, and 4-7 days after the administration. This would apply to heartworm prevention too. This will help to lessen the potential side-effect of the medication on the other parts of the body, by cleansing toxins from the cells.
NZYMES Tincture of Blackleaf: This product is comprised of three principal ingredients; Olive leaf, Cayenne, and Black Walnut. The Black Walnut element is naturally anti-parasitic in nature. It has been used effectively against all types of parasitic worms. NOTE: While we stop short of recommending this product as a heartworm preventative, we highly recommend it’s periodic use as a wormer. This can be accomplished by giving the Black Leaf over a period of 4-7 consecutive days on a monthly basis.
NZYMES Bac-Pak Plus: This product is a blend of digestive enzymes and Direct-Fed Microbials (probiotics). Anytime heartworm medication is used, there can be collateral damage to the natural bacterial flora of the GI tract. Using Bac-Pak on a regular basis helps to safeguard the gut, by constantly supplying friendly, bacterial reinforcements.