What is Canine Heartworm Disease?

Q

What Is Canine Heartworm Disease?

A

Heartworm disease is caused by a worm parasite that is transmitted to animals and humans.  More than 30 species of animals can be infected.  The worm’s larvae are injected into an animal by a mosquito.  The larvae migrate through the body and develop into adults over a period of several months.  Adult heartworms are mature after about one year. Male heartworms are 4 to six inches in length, while the females can reach 12 inches in length.  They primarily reside in the heart and vessels in the lungs.

Detection of heartworm disease is easily made by a simple blood test.  The blood test should be checked annually.  Protection from heartworm disease is also made easy by treating your dog monthly with either an oral treat or a topical liquid that can be applied to the skin of the back.  Prevention is both safe and very effective.

Protection is well worth the effort.  Treatment for a dog that has not been protected and acquires heartworm disease is both costly and risky.  Remember, an ounce of protection is worth a pound of cure!

Call us at Hudson Veterinary Hospital with any questions – we’ll be glad to help.  (330) 650-2929.

Dr. Bob