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Canine Heartworm

Canine Heartworm

What is Canine Heartworm?

Commonly known as either the heartworm or canine heartworm, Dirofilaria immitis is a type of parasitic roundworm. It is called the canine heartworm because the parasitic infection caused by these small threadlike worms most commonly infects dogs. However, cats, ferrets, and many other animals are susceptible to this parasitic worm.

If left untreated, canine heartworms can cause fatal heart failure in their host animal. However, you can prevent and treat heartworms, if you find them early enough.  These heart worm parasites  spread to dogs and other animals by mosquitos. Limiting your pet’s exposure to mosquitos by keeping them indoors in the evening, when insects are most active, can help. Your veterinarian can also provide heartworm preventative medicine, and perform heart-worm blood tests to screen for the parasite.

You can find heartworms in all fifty states in the USA, so this concerns all pet owners in the US. Ask your veterinarian how you can help prevent canine heartworms in your pet.

 

(The image above is a derivative of amanderson2, https://www.flickr.com/photos/49399018@N00/14893909783; CC BY-SA.)

Heartworm in Cats