Does this parasite live in your province?
How to recognize them
Heartworms are threadlike worms that measure 15–36 mm in length and live in the pulmonary arteries, and the heart itself. These parasites are found in subtropical tropical and temperate regions of the world. High-risk regions in Canada include southern Ontario, southern Quebec, southern Manitoba, the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia and some regions in the Atlantic provinces.
How they affect your pet
Mosquitos are responsible for the transmission of heartworm disease between hosts. Consequently, the prevalence of these infections is higher in areas that encourage the breeding of mosquitos.
Signs that your pet may have a heartworm infection include:
- Exercise intolerance
- Weight loss
It is possible for your pet to have a heartworm infection and show no clinical signs. This is why it is important to have your pet tested for heartworms during yearly exams.
What are the risks to your animal?
If left untreated, heartworm infections will eventually lead to congestive heart failure and death.
If you suspect your pet has a heartworm infection, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian for testing and treatment if needed.
References: Heartworm Society Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Wikipedia