Heartworm, Is Your Chihuahua Puppy at Risk?
Heartworm is a highly preventable disease that can occur in
your Chihuahua Puppy . Once contracted it is difficult and
expensive to treat.
Cause: The cause of heartworm is the mosquito. If there are
mosquito's around, even if you live in a desert region, there is
a chance that your pets will get heartworm.
Transmission: The transmission of Heartworm to your pets is
through the bite of a mosquito. When a mosquito is taking a
blood meal from an infected Chihuahua Puppy , it will picks up
the microfilaria (baby heartworm.) Within the mosquito, the
microfilaria will then go through their life-cycle to the
infective stage. After this they can infect other animals.
Life Cycle: Adult heartworm are found primarily in the right
ventricle and adjacent vessels of a Chihuahua Puppy s heart.
Here they produce larvae called microfilaria, a microscopic
creature that circulates through the Chihuahua Puppy 's blood
vessels until they are once again picked up by a feeding
Once in the mosquito, the microfilaria will develop into their
second and third stages taking any where from within 14 to 21
days. The third stage is the larvae that is then re-deposited in
the Chihuahua Puppy during a mosquito bite (feeding).
The larvae then migrates to the fat or muscle cells in the
subcutaneous tissues. There they mold again to the fourth and
fifth larval stages. In three months they begin to migrate to
the right ventricle of the Chihuahua Puppy 's heart where they
finish maturing. Female heartworm then begin to produce a new
population of microfilaria about six to seven months after the
Symptoms: A Chihuahua Puppy may have heartworm disease for
six months and an owner will not know he has it as the symptoms
may be very subtle. Since the disease affects the heart, lungs,
kidney or liver, your Chihuahua Puppy may have low
tolerance for exercise, loss of appetite, listlessness,
persistent coughing and difficulty breathing even while resting.
Other symptoms may include vomiting, diarrhea, yellowing of the
gums and eyes (jaundice).
Once symptoms are present, the disease has advanced to the point
where successful treatment is reduced and death is possible.
Consult your veterinarian if you suspect your Chihuahua Puppy
to be infected.
Treatment: It is recommend Chihuahua Puppy s be tested
annually for heartworm. There are two types of heartworm
medicine available for Chihuahua Puppy s, the daily dosage and
the monthly dosage. Daily preventatives have an active
ingredient of Diethycarbamazine (DEC) and come in chewable,
pills and liquids. Treatment should be started one month prior
to mosquito season and given daily to two months after the last
exposure to mosquitoes. Monthly heartworm preventives are
Ivermectin (Heartgard) and Milbemycin oxime (interceptor).