What is heartworm disease?

Tips to housebreak your new dog

Heartworm is a very serious disease for dogs. Heartworm parasites feed on blood, while living inside the arteries of the lung and chambers of their heart. In severe cases heartworms in dogs can grow up to 30cm long and 2cm thick. Heartworm larvae are more commonly referred to as microfilariae, and these can be found in an infected dog’s blood.

 

How is heartworm in dogs spread?

Heartworm is transmitted by mosquitos. When they bite, they feed on the blood of an infected dog and ingest microfilariae which then mature in their new host. When the same mosquito bites another dog, it infects the healthy pet with the heartworm larvae, which migrate through the dog’s tissues and circulatory system, eventually reaching the heart and lungs where adult heartworms grow. 

 

Why is heartworm disease dangerous?

Heartworm can affect the heart, liver, kidneys and general circulation, but mainly the lungs. 

The severity of heartworm disease depends upon the amount of lung damage and how your dog’s immune system responds. Severe heartworm disease can be deadly, so heartworm prevention is an important part of your dog’s care regime.

 

What is an effective heartworm treatment?
Protect your dog from heartworm with a monthly NEXGARD Spectra chew . Just one monthly chew helps prevent fleas, ticks, mites, heartworm and worms.