Heartworm is caused by the heartworm larvae. This often fatal disease can affect family pets if they have been bitten by a mosquito carrying the larvae.
The disease is preventable through a variety of drugs that have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Keeping your pets inside may help prevent the disease, too, but mosquitoes can easily invade indoor spaces through torn window screens and open doors. An effective mosquito control system can also help protect pets from getting heartworm from mosquitoes.
Does your dog have heartworms? Mosquitoes could be the reason. Heartworm is spread through the bite of a mosquito carrying the heartworm larvae. The mosquito initially bites an infected dog or cat, drawing in the heartworm parasites when it gathers blood from the animal.
The mosquito then flies to another dog, cat or other mammal to get more blood, and in biting the mammal, transmits the larvae to that second mammal. When a dog has become infected, any other dog in that area or locale may be at risk for heartworm through the bites of infected mosquitoes in the area.
The larvae enter at the bite location and then travel through the animal’s body, living in the heart, lungs, and blood vessels where they can grow up to a foot or more in length and cause a very serious, and often fatal, disease. If you suspect that your dog has heartworm, mosquitoes carrying the heartworm virus may be the culprits. Learn more about the symptoms of heartworm.
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