what are the symptoms of heartworm in dogs

what are the symptoms of heartworm in dogs


What are the Symptoms of Heartworm in Dogs?

Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal condition in dogs. As a devoted caregiver to your canine companion, it’s vital to recognize the signs and symptoms early.

1. Understanding Heartworm Disease

Heartworms are parasites that live in the heart, lungs and blood vessels of infected animals, causing severe lung disease, heart failure and damage to other organs. This disease is transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito. It’s not something to be taken lightly, and it’s essential that you, as a caregiver, are well-informed.

2. Early Symptoms of Heartworm in Dogs

In the early stages, your dog may show few symptoms or none at all. But as the disease progresses, you may notice:

  1. A mild, persistent cough
  2. Reluctance to exercise or fatigue after moderate activity
  3. Decreased appetite
  4. Weight loss

3. Advanced Symptoms of Heartworm in Dogs

As the disease progresses, symptoms may become more severe and include:

  1. Rapid or difficult breathing
  2. Pale gums
  3. Dark, bloody or coffee-colored urine
  4. Swollen belly due to excess fluid in the abdomen
  5. Collapse or fainting

4. Heartworm Disease Stages and Symptoms

Stage Symptoms
Mild Might not show any symptoms
Moderate Cough, fatigue after moderate activity, reluctance to exercise, weight loss
Severe Difficulty breathing, pale gums, dark-colored urine, collapse or fainting

5. What to Do If You Suspect Heartworm Disease

If you notice any of these symptoms in your canine friend, it’s crucial to seek veterinary attention immediately. Early detection and treatment can significantly improve your dog’s prognosis.


Q: Can humans get heartworm disease from their dogs?
A: No, heartworm disease is not directly contagious from dogs to humans.

Q: Can heartworm disease be prevented?
A: Yes, there are preventive medications available for dogs.

Q: What is the treatment for heartworm disease?
A: Treatment can be complex and lengthy, often including a series of injections and period of rest.

Q: Is heartworm disease fatal?
A: If left untreated, heartworm disease can be fatal to dogs.

In conclusion, as a caregiver, your dog’s health is in your hands. Knowledge is power, so stay informed and keep an eye out for these symptoms of heartworm disease in your beloved pet.