Heartworm disease is a parasitic roundworm that develops inside the right side of the heart. These worms damage it and lessen the efficiency of the lungs and liver amongst the other vital organs of the body. This is the disease that engendered alertness and caused alarm to the health condition of dogs, cats, mammals and other wild animals such as coyotes, wolves, muskrats, and the like that are situated in the United States of America, Canada, Alaska, Atlantic and along the Gulf Coast and Mississippi River Valley.
The transmission and development of these worms from one infected host to another is through blood sucking of mosquitoes. Female adult worms that are 10 inches long give birth to worms that are called microfilariae. These microfilariae are microscopic in size. They circulate in the blood of the host from which the mosquitoes would suck. The ingested microfilariae in the blood will develop to young larvae and will stay in the mouth of the mosquitoes. When the mosquito sucks blood through the skin of another animal, the larvae will then leave the mouth of the mosquito and will eventually penetrate the skin and muscles of the new host and from the skin and muscles, the larvae will go the right side of the heart of the infected host and will mature there. Serious and irreversible damage to the lungs and heart could result to this kind of infection. One of the most common pathological processes observed due to heartworm disease is inflammation of the pulmonary artery. This is one of the effects of heartworm disease. The persistent irritation of adult worms in the right side of the heart thickens and roughens the pulmonary artery. Because of this, blood clots form which then caused back pressure to the lungs since the opening of the miniscule blood vessels’ is blocked. Contacting an animal doctor for your dog when you sense that your pet may be infected is a good step towards acting upon this problem and preventing possible spread by treating what could be found. However, a free-living wild animal that’s infected of heartworm disease may not be treated as this has been deemed as not feasible yet.
Treatment of heartworm disease may have a very strong effect on the host’s body. For instance, when a dog is infected, a drug could kill the adult worm as it is very toxic flushing all the worms in the right side of the heart and other parts. However, the dead worms may clot the pulmonary artery and other blood vessels that the lungs would need that’s why infected dogs that have been treated need to take a two-week rest inside the house to prevent them from acquiring other diseases. Meanwhile, according to reports, there is no significant alert about heartworm disease to spread to the general public, however, there are some credible results that identified humans as infected hosts of these worms. Furthermore, the effect on this to the wild animals’ lives may be very significant since these animals will be hard to treat from this kind of disease.
Heartworm disease is a parasitic roundworm that develops inside the right side of the heart. These worms damage it and lessen the efficiency of the lungs and liver amongst the other vital organs of the body.