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Find out more about your dogs
Unfortunately, it's as scary as it sounds: worms that live in your dog's heart! Heartworm disease can readily kill dogs, but it's also readily preventable.
Mosquitoes transmit the disease to dogs by injecting tiny heartworm larvae into their skin.
The larvae develop in the tissues and migrate to the heart where they grow into adult worms.
The adults live in the heart and the large blood vessels surrounding the heart.
They reproduce and release more larval offspring into the dog's blood stream.
These larvae can then be taken by a mosquito and transmitted to another dog or cat.
Due to the stress that adult worms have on a dog's heart, there are often clinical signs of heart disease or heart failure such as:
Heartworm can be treated, but it carries risks for your dog and there are no guarantees of success. Your dog may need a series of arsenic-based injections or even surgery to remove the adult worms from their heart. As with most of these sorts of things, prevention is better than cure.
Start within the first few months of their life.
To download a fact sheet about heartworm disease, click here.
Companion Animal Parasite Council