Dog Heartworm Symptoms

Most pet owners know that heartworm is a very serious illness that may even cause the death of their dog. That is why it is very important to be able to recognize dog heartworm symptoms when they occur in your canine.
Dog heartworm symptoms are a result of mature or adult heartworm larvae that invade the heart and other major organs. They can cause irritation to the heart and blood vessel walls, causing the thickening of the blood and the blockage of the blood flow. They can even become lodged in the blood vessels of the liver, eventually causing liver damage.
Usually the first dog heartworm symptom to appear is a mild cough. Most dog owners usually overlook it since it may be caused by several other problems, some which may possibly take care of themselves over time. Knowing that this may be the onset of such a terrible and possibly fatal disease needs to be of concern to dog owners. If the owner knows that heartworm prevention has not been administered regularly, then a mild cough should be enough of a red flag to warrant a visit to the veterinary office.
Since most dogs are very energetic and playful, dog owners should immediately recognize the symptom of fatigue in their canine. If doing normal things like running in the yard or up the stairs tires out your dog, then there is a good chance there may be a problem.
Shortness of breath in your dog is another early warning sign of heartworm. Labored breathing and gasping for air need to be a sign that the advice of a professional may be required.
Most dogs are constantly hungry. It may not be a major concern if your pet skips a meal or two, since stomach troubles do occur from time to time. However, if this trend continues for a lengthy period of time, it should be taken seriously.
Weight loss, yellow or jaundiced skin, and a severe cough are signs that a major problem may exist, and if your dog has periods of collapse, it may be a sign that it is too late.
Owning a dog means you need to use preventive heartworm medications regularly, and that your animal needs to see a vet at least on an annual schedule.