How do you know if a dog has stage 2 heartworm disease?

How do you know if a dog has stage 2 heartworm disease?

Good morning, this is Dr. Garner from Safari. We have a question from Derek in Florida about how do we tell if a dog has Stage 2 heartworm disease.

Heartworms vs. heartworm disease

The heartworm test tells us whether we have heartworms in the heart. Heartworm disease is a different thing. Heartworm disease is determined by whether or not we have changes in the lungs or the heart, secondary to the presence of the actual worms.

The signs of Stage 2 heartworm disease

Stage 2 is whenever we have heartworm disease that is exemplified by minor changes in the pulmonary arteries, or minor enlargement of the heart, as we see them on the X-rays. Stage 2 heartworm disease will show minor anemia because the blood cells are being damaged as they go through the lungs. So, Stage 2 disease is a disease where we don’t see any outward signs, but we see signs on x-rays, the blood tests, and the ultrasound as we evaluate the dog for the treatment.
Thanks, Derek, and I hope we’ve answered your question. If you have any more, please ask.