Heartworms

 

Heartworms

"Dirofilaria immitis"

Heartworms are internal parasites that live in the heart of a dog or puppy. If left untreated heartworms can cause an obstruction of the heart and it's blood vessels leading to heart failure.

Dog Health Issues - Description of Heartworms ( Dirofilaria immitis )
It is not surprising that Heartworms are often referred to in two separate words as in Heart Worms because the description of these parasites is that live inside the dog's heart. These types of worms are called Dirofilaria immitis. Heartworms measure about 25-30cm long and live in the dog's heart and feed off the blood of the dog.

 

 

Heartworms are transmitted via the mosquito as the carrier host - Dogs get heartworms when an infected mosquito bites them. Severe infestation can cause sudden death as Heartworms can obstruct the heart and blood vessels leading to high blood pressure and causing heart failure.

Dog Health Problems - Transmission of Worms including Heartworms
Heartworms are transmitted via mosquito bites. Microfilaria penetrates the dog's skin and travels through the body to the heart.

Dog Health Problems - Symptoms of Heartworms
The symptoms of Heartworms are as follows:

  • Coughing
  • Weight loss
  • Apathy
 

Dog photograph

 

Dog Health Information - Treatment of Worms
Treatment for Heartworms

Heartworm infection occurs throughout the USA but is particularly common in mosquito infected areas. As the treatment is both expensive and dangerous it is necessary in high risk areas to obtain preventative medication from your canine Health specialist. In this case prevention really is better than cure! The treatment for Heart worm is as follows:

  • Medication to kill the adult heartworm in the heart
  • Medication to kill the microfilaria
  • Preventative medication to prevent recontamination via mosquito bites

Treatment is normally successful in the early stages of the disease, however, if damage has already occurred to the heart the parasite might be destroyed but the symptoms remain for life.

 

Dog Health Issues - Different Types of Worms
There are several types of parasites, or worms, which affect pets and are as follows:

  • Roundworms also referred to as Round worms - (Called Ascarids)
  • Whipworms also referred to as Whip worms (Trichuris vulpis)
  • Hookworms also referred to as Hook worms (Ancylostoma caninum)
  • Tapeworms also referred to as Tape worms (Dipylidium caninum)

Dog Health Advice
We hope that the canine health information and dog health advice has been of some assistance. But please remember that if you are in doubt about your Dog's Health please consult your Canine Health Specialist.

 

Online Encyclopaedia of Common Dog Health Problems
The sole purpose of the Online Encyclopaedia of Common Dog Health Problems is as a reference manual to provide useful information to dog and puppy owners. It is not intended to be used to diagnose or treat sick dogs or as a substitute for obtaining professional veterinary advice. Please remember that if you are in any doubt about your Dog's Health please consult your Canine Veterinary Specialist immediately.

 

Heartworms

 

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