Heartworm (Dirofilaria immitus) is a recognized disease in dogs in Singapore. Heartworm, as the name implies, affect the heart and the circulatory system. It is NOT an intestinal worm.
Heartworm is contracted when a dog is bitten by an infected mosquito. The larva (known as microfilariae) is deposited and travels in the dog’s circulatory system to the heart. They can grow up to 12inches long and remain in the dog’s heart for several years. Dog can have microfilaria in the lungs without manifesting disease. Once the numbers exceed the threshold base on several physiological factors, the adult worms move to the heart and symptoms will begin to occur. The time period for this lies between 6-7months.
A screening test can be performed at your veterinarian’s to detect the presence of microfilaria with a small blood draw. Results are obtained in 5-10minutes.
Heartworm infestation is dangerous. Untreated dogs die and treated dogs go through weeks of discomfort while the worms are killed and expelled from their bodies. Treatment does not guarantee survival in affected patients and is costly. Therefore, PREVENTION is better then cure.
Visit your local veterinarian for advise on how to prevent your pet from heartworm. Prevention is required throughout the lifetime of your pet and there are several versions.
Tick-bite-fever is a parasitic disease commonly occurring in Singapore. The ticks in Singapore are not poisonous but may harbor a blood-parasite. When your pet gets bitten by an infected tick, the parasite is injected into your pet’s blood stream, causing disease. There are 3 kinds of tick-carrying blood-borne parasites (Ehrlichia canis, Babesia canis, and Babesia gibsoni) in Singapore and they have different treatment methods.
When infected with Babesiosis or Ehrlichiosis, your pet may display a wide variety of clinical signs of which include sudden depression, lethargy, loss in appetite, vomiting, diarhoea etc. You should seek veterinary attention for your pet immediately. Infection with the disease(s) CAN BE FATAL even with treatment. The blood parasites will destroy healthy blood cells and preceed to affect major organ systems.
Prevention is simple and effective when performed correctly. Talk to your veterinarian today about tick control.