Heartworm Disease

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Heartworm Disease

In dogs, heartworm disease is a parasitic infestation that affects the heart and lungs.  Adult heartworms grow up to 10 to 12 inches in length and populate the heart and pulmonary (lung) arteries.  This population can cause lung disease and heart failure.

In cats, in addition to affecting the heart and lungs, adult heartworms can grow 5 to 8 inches in length.  Cats are not the natural host of heartworms, and are capable of “fighting off” the infestation, but this does cause permanent damage to the cat.

For Dogs
For Cats
Dogs are the natural host for heartworms
Heartworms can grow up to 12 inches in the heart and lungs
The life span of heartworms is up to 5 years
25-50 heartworms can be considered a moderate infestation
Dogs Can be successfully treated once diagnosed with heartworm disease.
Cats are not the natural host
Heartworms can grow up to 8 inches in the heart and lungs
Teh life span of heartworms is up to 2 years
One heartworm can be a lethal infestation
Heartworm disease cannot be treated, but the symptoms can be
Early heartworm disease may not have signs.  Late stages of heartworm disease may include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Tires easily
  • Listlessness
  • Weight loss

In worse case scenarios, sudden death may occur before any symptoms are shown.

Early heartworm disease may not have signs.  Late stages of heartworm disease may include:

  • Asthma
  • Coughing
  • Vomiting
  • Weight Loss
  • Lethargy

In worse case scenarios, sudden death may occur before any symptoms are shown.