What is heartworm?
Heartworm occurs when a mosquito infected with heartworm larvae bites a dog, transferring the larvae from insect to canine. Mature heartworms are large roundworms that reside in the right side of the heart and the blood vessels that supply the lungs. The worms survive on nutrients from the dog’s bloodstream. The disease causes obstruction of blood flow, as well as damage to the heart, lungs and liver. Eventually, fluid will build up in the lungs and restrict the dog’s breathing. Death may result when damage to the internal organs is severe. It is important to have your dog tested at your veterinarian yearly to ensure they do not have heartworm.