Today we will introduce the heartworm(filaria) test & medical checkup campaign that will be starting from the spring.
Filariasis is a mosquito-borne disease. As the warmth of spring arrives, blood tests and vaccines for filariasis will be performed to prevent mosquitoes that are present from April till December in Tokyo.
< Frightening Symptoms >
Dirofilaria immitis, also known as dog heartworm, is a type of nematode that resides in the heart, causing poor blood circulation in dogs.
Becoming tired easily during walks, hemoptysis (coughing up blood), and anaemia are symptoms resulting from heartworms residing in the pulmonary artery. In severe cases, dogs could cough up large amounts of blood, resulting in a possibility of death.
Besides, motor paralysis and neurological symptoms might occur when heartworm larvae find themselves lost in moving organs or the brain.
< Treatment and Preventive Measures >
The removal of the parasite under the influence of anaesthesia is a type of treatment for filariasis. However, the use of special equipment and procedures, in addition to the rapid changes in the blood pressure during the removal, might pose an anaesthetic risk significantly larger than usual surgical procedures.
For preventive measures, blood tests for filariasis are performed, and medications are prescribed once a month. 70% of dogs living in the endemic area where filariasis is prevalent are found to be infected if not prevented. Preventive measures conducted one dog at a time will help reduce the amount of mosquito-borne heartworms.
It is significantly less burdensome for dogs if proper prophylactic measures are undertaken.
< Is it necessary for a checkup? >
Although it is possible to purchase prophylactics online, there is a posed risk of taking them without proper examinations. In infected dogs, prophylactics might also cause the parasites to die and clog the blood vessels. Hence, it is necessary to conduct a thorough examination in our hospital before taking prophylactics.
Of course, it might seem unnecessary for healthy dogs to visit the hospital. However, in addition to the affordable price provided in a limited time, it is crucial to grasp this opportunity to allow us to give them a thorough checkup on their current condition.
Animal hospital in Shibuya, Ebisu and Daikanyama.
HALU Animal Hospital
For the original Japanese version: