heartworm

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Di·ro·fi·la·ri·a im·'mi·tis

a species of filarial worms; primary hosts are dogs and other canids in tropical, subtropical and temperate climates, adult worms are found chiefly in the right ventricle and pulmonary arteries of dogs; sometimes a serious pathogen of racing and show dogs, especially in the southern U.S. where mosquito vectors are most common; Dirofilaria immitis and its canine host have been used to test chemotherapeutic agents, and an extract of Dirofilaria immitis may be used as a nonspecific intradermal antigen in the diagnosis of human filariasis and in complement-fixation tests.
See also: Dipetalonema reconditum.
Synonym(s): heartworm

heartworm

(härt′wûrm′)
n.
1. A parasitic filarial worm (Dirofilaria immitis) that is transmitted by mosquitoes and infects the pulmonary arteries and often the right side of the heart of dogs and other canids and sometimes other mammals, including cats.
2. The condition resulting from infection with heartworms, characterized by respiratory symptoms and fatigue.
References in periodicals archive ?
As the heartworms die and lose their attachment to the interior of the dog's heart, lungs, and pulmonary arteries, and as their bodies are released into the bloodstream, the decaying fragments are deposited into the alveoli, where they can plug up the bronchioles and cause tissue death in the lungs.
The statement you refer to should have read, "If your dog does not have heartworms, it can be put on an oral medication during the mosquito season in order to prevent heartworms."
Cats should be tested for heartworms (usually a blood test) before being placed on Centragard.
Keep them on a monthly heartworm preventative that also has effectiveness against the common intestinal worms.
But veterinarian Tom Beckett of the Camino Viejo Animal Clinic in Austin, Texas cautions that, although minocycline is in the same class as doxycycline, it has not yet been shown to be equally effective against the same rickettsial diseases, or as a pre-treatment for dogs who will undergo heartworm treatment.
The first thing I should say is that you should ideally be keeping your kitty indoors, although this would not preclude potential exposure to heartworms, as a recent study showed that approximately 25 percent of cats infected with heartworms were considered indoor cats.
Among the most severe of these disorders is heartworm disease, a condition caused by infection with a parasitic worm called Dirofilaria immitis.
Always consult your veterinarian before starting any of these products as he or she will want to run some tests first to ensure the products are safe to use in your dog and that your dog has not already been infected with heartworms.
While cats may have as few as one to three adult heartworms, even immature heartworms can damage the feline heart and lungs.
Repeat this dose quarterly (one month on, two months off) for as long as the dog is infected with heartworms. This will reduce the possibility of the infection being passed to other dogs through mosquitoes, shorten the lifespan of the adult worms, and lessen the chance of adverse side effects from worm death.