Heartworms are large worms and can measure up to… 14 inches long! In their adult lives, those worms live in the heart and pulmonary arteries of the unfortunate infected animal. They are spread through female mosquito bites.
The cycle starts when a mosquito bites an infected dog. Heartworm larvae are then picked up by the mosquito. As the mosquito bites other dogs, it infects those dogs with the heartworm.
Although they can be found nearly everywhere, these parasites are more common in certain areas than others. This is because
1. Heartworms need specific types of mosquitoes to carry their larvae;
2. The larvae need the weather to be warm enough to develop in the mosquito that carries them;
3. Dogs (or other animals such as coyotes) have to be already infected in the region;
4. Potential host dogs have to be present in the area.
Keep you dog and cat healthy using heartworm medicine. Talk to your veterinarian today.