by Cathy Kinser and Rachel Kinser
A heartworm is an internal parasite that lives in the heart and pulmonary arteries. It is most commonly seen in dogs but can affect cats also. Heartworm disease is also very easily prevented by giving your pet a monthly dosage of heartworm prevention.
There are a variety of products on the market today. It is recommended by the American Heartworm Association to test your pet once yearly to be sure your prevention is working properly and to give your pet heartworm prevention every month year-round.
This disease is transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito, it only takes ONE bite to transmit this disease. The mosquito injects heartworm larvae under the dog's skin when it bites to receive a blood meal. Over a 6-month period, the larvae migrate through the body until reaching the right side of the heart and pulmonary arteries once an adult.
The adult female worm releases baby worms called microfilaria, which circulate through the bloodstream. These are picked up by a mosquito when it ingests a blood meal, matures into larvae, and is injected into another dog when that mosquito ingests another meal.
Heartworms can not be transmitted from dog to dog. However, dogs and cats that are present near an infected animal are at a greater risk of being bitten by an infected mosquito due to the mosquito traveling from one animal to another animal.
Contact your veterinarian today to get your pet tested for heartworm disease and to start your pet on heartworm prevention!
About the Author.
Cathy's website Paw Prints Boutique is dedicated to pets and their owners. Providing pet lovers with the most fabulous Pet Accessories, including dog beds, pet carries, dog collars and more. This articles co-author is Cathy's daughter Rachel she has a bachelors degree in Zoo Science. For the last two years she has been working as a small animal Veterinarian Assistant.