Show Categories+

Heartworm disease2014/02/11

Heartworm disease really is a tropical disease and is the stuff of nightmares. A mosquito can bite your dog, resulting in, 6 months or more later, worms with lengths of more than twelve inches, in the heart and major blood vessels. In severe cases a dog may be infested with hundreds of worms!

It’s an understatement to say that prevention is better than cure- of course there is no way to remove these worms safely from the body, and even when the worms are dead they can tangle around the heart valves and cause heart failure and sudden death of the dog.

Before this happens, dogs can develop asthma symptoms, coughing, or other signs of heart failure. Although in many cases the development of symptoms can take many months or even years.

Fortunately, yes they mainly occur in dogs who live outside or who get bitten by mosquitos a lot, rather than your average HK pet in an apartment. However they are not particularly rare to find in Hong Kong.  Also, fortunately, there is a preventative medication that pets can take on a monthly basis (chew or spot-on) or an annual injection.

Dirofilaria immitis is the scientific name for the parasite. Please contact us for details of how to treat or prevent this killer disease in Hong Kong.