Many people know their dog or cat is on heartworm prevention medication but not that many people are aware of exactly what heartworm disease is and how it is spread.
Unlike the other intestinal worms that we treat for heartworm is not spread by dog to dog contact but by mosquitos.
When an infected mosquito bites your dog or cat they pass infective heartworm larvae into your dog or cat’s bloodstream.
The larvae grow into adult heartworms which then reproduce making the “microﬁlariae” baby heartworms.
These are then ingested by the mosquitos again when they bite the dog or cat to feed and the cycle starts again.
Adult heartworms live your pet’s heart and main artery that connects the heart to the lungs.
They can reproduce into massive numbers causing severe changes to the heart, arteries and the lungs which causes the clinical signs that we see.