Heartworm is a serious condition that can be potentially fatal to your pets. Heartworm is caused by parasitic worms with adult worms that live in the heart and blood vessels that supply the lungs. The disease is transmitted from animal to animal after mosquitoes bite them and transfer the larvae, which could be considered to be immature worms (microfilaria), into the dog during the spring, summer and fall.
Signs of heartworm disease include:
– Weight loss
– exercise intolerance
It takes 6 – 7 months for the larvae to mature and signs to become apparent so if your pet is displaying any of the signs listed, contact your veterinarian immediately. The disease may already be at an advanced stage but treatment is usually still possible.
Heartworm prevention is safe, convenient, easy and affordable. Talk to your veterinarian for prevention options that could potentially save your pet’s life.
by Laura Therrien
Ontario SPCA and Humane Society