Dog Heartworm Symptoms & Signs

Dog heartworm symptoms are directly related to the number of worms found in an infected dog’s body.

The more worms, the more severe the symptoms.

Dogs that are unable to fight off the initial infestation will show one or more of several symptoms, including:

  • Respiratory problems such as a persistent dog cough or difficulty breathing
  • Weakness, increased tiredness or fainting
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss
  • Hair loss or less healthy-looking coat
  • High blood pressure and rapid heart rate
  • Anemia (decreased oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood due to less than normal amount of red blood cells or lower quantity of hemoglobin)
heartworm picture

Microfilaria (young worms)
- 400x magnification

If left untreated, canine heartworm symptoms can culminate into heart failure and even death.

Diagnosis is done via a blood sample, either to check for heartworm antibodies that your dog’s body has created on its own or to look for the microfilaria (young worms) in the blood stream.

See our Natural Treatment for Heartworms in Dogs page for details about treatment and prevention.

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