To help your pet avoid the risks of heartworm disease, here are answers to some common heartworm disease questions:
What is heartworm disease?
Heartworm disease is the growth of a parasite inside a pet. When a heartworm-infected mosquito bites a pet, the mosquito deposits microscopic heartworm larvae into a pet’s bloodstream. The larvae mature for several months before migrating towards the heart and lungs through the bloodstream and end up on the right side of the heart and in the pulmonary artery, where they mature into adult heartworms.
How many different species of mosquitos can transmit heartworms disease?
As many as 30 different species of mosquitos can transmit heartworm disease.
Are indoor pets at risk of heartworm disease?
Indoor pets are still at risk of heartworm disease because mosquitos can still get indoors, whether through an open door as someone enters or leaves their home or through a tear in a window screen.
Is heartworm disease fatal for pets?
In some cases, heartworm disease can be fatal for pets.
What are some signs of heartworm disease in dogs?
The signs of heartworm disease depend on the number of adult worms present, the location of the worms, the length of time the worms have been in the dog and the degree of damage that has been sustained by the heart, lungs, liver, and kidneys. The most obvious clinical signs of heartworm disease are:
- A soft, dry cough
- Shortness of breath
- Listlessness and loss of stamina
All these signs are most noticeable following exercise, when some dogs may even faint or become disoriented.
Can people get heartworms?
People can get heartworms, but people are not a natural host for them, and they can only get heartworms from being bitten by the same infected mosquitos that transmit the disease to dogs.
How do I prevent my dog from getting heartworm disease?
You can prevent your dog from getting heartworms by using a heartworm disease preventive.
For any questions, to get your dog’s preventive medication or to book an appointment for your pet, please email or call us. We’re here to help with any pet concerns.