HEARTWORM FACTS


        Adult Heartworms live in the right side of the heart.

        They are 6-14 inches long.  Several hundred may be present in the dog!

        Heartworms impair blood circulation, resulting in damage to the heart, lungs,
liver, and kidneys. Serious damage may occur, even before outward clinical signs are
detected by the owner.

        Advanced signs include difficult breathing, coughing, tiring easily, listlessness,
and loss of weight, and fainting.

        Heartworms are found throughout the United States and Canada.

Mosquitoes spread heartworms:
After ingesting blood from and infected dog, the MICROFILARIA  (“baby” heartworms)
is transmitted to another dog or cat when the mosquito bites it.  Once the heartworms
mature, they begin reproducing additional microfilaria. This MICROFILARIA IS NOT
DANGEROUS TO THE INFECTED DOG. A mosquito must ingest the microfilaria
before they can become infectious. The mosquito must then inject the heartworm
larvae into the susceptible pet. It takes 3 to 6 months for adult   Heartworms to develop
in a dog after an infected mosquito bites it. Heartworms occur in all breeds of   dogs:  
large and small, shorthaired and longhaired, inside-dogs and outside-dogs.  
Heartworms also now are known to infect cats. Diagnosis of Heartworms is by blood
test to detect the “baby” heartworms in the blood. A special test to detect “occult
heartworm disease” is sometimes required when heartworms are suspected, even if
the initial screening test is negative, because a small number of dogs may have adult
heartworms but yet have no microfilaria in the bloodstream. Treatment is very
SUCCESSFUL when the disease is detected early. The adult worms are killed with an
inject able drug given in a series of 2 injections. A few days later, the worms begin to
die, and are carried by way of the bloodstream to the lungs where they lodge in small
blood vessels. They slowly decompose and are absorbed by the body over a period of
several months.    Other injections are required to kill the microfilaria (baby
heartworms) at a later time.

HEARTWORMS CAN BE PREVENTED!!!!  
We strongly recommend monthly   heartworm preventives, which also aid in the
prevention of other internal parasites.  It should be given all year long routine testing
for Heartworms once each year is suggested for all dogs!