What are the symptoms of heartworm infection in my dog?
Often dogs are asymptomatic (meaning that they are infected, but are not showing symptoms of the disease.) Sometimes a chronic (long-term) soft cough is noted. Your dog may tire easily, have difficulty breathing and may even develop congestive heart failure. Secondary problems can also occur in the immune system as a response from the proteins of the worms. These include destruction of red blood cells (anemia), platelets (bleeding), kidney disease, joint disease, and Lupus. How is heartworm infection diagnosed? One of the easiest ways to detect heartworms is by a blood test that checks for the presence of adult female worms. Most heartworm infections in dogs are ‘co-ed,’ so this test is usually very accurate. It only detects adult worms so if the dog has recently been infested and there are no adult worms present the test will be negative even if the dog does have baby stages of heartworm present in its body. There are other blood tests available that test for the presence of baby hear