A parasitic infection that is spread by mosquitoes from infected dogs to non-infected dogs. The heartworm microfilariae accumulate in the mosquito during a meal from an infected dog. The heartworm then develops in the mosquito and can be injected into a non-infected dog where, in 6 months, they develop into adult heartworms. The adult heartworms lodge in the right atrium, right ventricle, right ventricular outflow tract, pulmonary arteries and vena cava and cause right- sided heart failure.No signs at firstMild, to persistent cough – usually at night while sleepingReluctance to move or exerciseTiredness after moderate exerciseWeight loss If left untreated it can lead to:Heart failureLung diseaseSudden death
There is a monthly preventative and it can also be treated based on the severity of the disease. We recommend your dog be tested annually and strongly encourage year-round preventative.
In 2015, of 1191 patients tested, 2 were positive at our hospital. Click here for more information on heartworm disease