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Heartworm Disease in Dogs

Posted by petsavenuevet on February 28, 2015 in Parasitic Diseases | No Comments

Canine heartworm disease is a silent killer because many infected dogs show little or no symptoms in the early stages of disease. As the disease progresses, a dog may show symptoms like coughing, breathing difficulties, fatigue, lack of appetite, weight loss and sudden heart failure. The good news is heartworm disease can be prevented and prevention is always better than cure! Read our article to find out more about this potentially fatal, but easily preventable disease.


In tropical regions like Singapore where mosquitoes are prevalent, heartworm disease can be transmitted easily. Dogs that are not on heartworm prevention run a risk of being infected. If left untreated, heartworm disease can be fatal.

What is heartworm disease?

Heartworm disease is easily transmitted by mosquitoes from one infected animal to another. Once bitten, the heartworms travel through the dog’s body until they reach the heart, lungs or blood vessels, where they can grow up to 30 cm in length.As the dog’s immune system reacts to the worms, it results in clotting, bleeding through the vessel walls and inflammation of surrounding lung tissues. The severity of the disease depen;;;ds on the amount of tissue damage and how the immune system responds

Cycle of how does it work

1)Mosquito bites dog & transmits infective larvae

2) Heartworm Life Cycle  Larvae develop In tissues for 3-4 days before migrating to heart, lung & blood vessels

3)  Larvae mature into Adult heartworm In heart, lung & blood vessels. Adult females release microfilaria In blood within approx 6 months

4) mosqsuito ingests microfilariae with blood meal

5) Microfilariae develop in mosquito to Infective larvae in 2-3 weeks

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