Heartworm: What you
need to know!
Heartworm is a blood
parasite that can be transmitted to dogs through
a mosquito bite. The mosquito harbors the microscopic
larva in its body and infects a dog when taking
blood. After a six month incubation period, the
adult worms, which can reach a length of 11 inches,
can be found in the heart and main blood vessels
to the lungs. This can cause severe respiratory
signs, heart failure and death. Heartworm is endemic
to Wisconsin, which means your dog is at risk of
getting this disease.
disease is preventable! It is important that you
talk to your veterinarian about starting your dog
on the monthly medication that will prevent this
disease. The first step is to have your veterinarian
blood test your dog, since a heartworm positive
dog should not be started on the preventative medication.
The Wisconsin Humane
Society does a heartworm screening test on all dogs
in adoption (over six months of age) to ensure that
they are not positive for heartworm. However, your
dog must be tested again by your veterinarian when
the time comes to start the preventative medication.