- Heartworms are large parasites ( up to 30cm long in dogs!!!)
- Heartworms live in the heart and main blood vessels of the lungs of dogs and cats.
- Mosquitoes transmit heartworm larvae from infected dogs to healthy dogs and cats .
- Left untreated, heartworm disease may be fatal to your pets.
- The prevalence of this deadly disease has increased steadily since it was first identified.
Heartworms – A serious threat !
Signs of heartworm infection in dogs include:
- Reduce appetite
- Exercise intolerance
- Breathing difficulty
- and even DEATH
How do my dogs get them?
Heartworm infection is found throughout Malaysia and other countries, in both dogs and cats. The disease is less common in cats, but they are still at risk. Infection in cats is difficult to diagnose; often the only sign is sudden death. It is also difficult to treat.
Heartworm infection is not confined to areas where mosquitos are in high concentrations. It only takes one infected pet moving into a new area to introduce the infective larvae. Whether your pet spends lots of time in the outdoors or rarely ventures out of your own back yard, he or she is still at risk for exposure to deadly heartworm disease. Puppies and kittens can be bitten by mosquitos soon after birth, so heartworm preventative is recommended at 6 weeks of age, should control infections acquired earlier.
The transmission cycle of the heartworm begins when a mosquito bites an infected dog/cat and feeds on blood that contains tiny immature heartworms. As it feeds, the mosquito takes in the immature heartworms. During the next two to three weeks, these tiny worms develop into larvae (the infective stage of heartworms) within the mosquito. If the infected mosquito bites another dog/cat, it can transmit infective larvae to dogs/cats. The infective larvae enter the pet’s body through the mosquito bite, and they continue to develop over the next few months while searching for the final destination of their journey – the heart & pulmonary artery.
But, if the pet is protected with Heartgard® Plus™, the life cycle ends here.
Without heartworm preventive regime, the heartworm lifecycle may continue. They migrate through the dog’s tissues, eventually reaching the heart and lungs. Once in the dog’s heart, the worms may grow up to 30cm and can cause significant damage to the heart and lungs.
If left untreated, heartworm disease may result in death.
Heartworm disease is 100% preventable -