My Dog Is Heartworm Positive: Signs, Diagnosis, and Treatments

If it happened to me, it can happen to you

My vet can’t remember the last time she had a heartworm positive case. Until now. My 8-year-old Dalmatian, Jolie, tested positive for heartworms at her annual check up last week. We retested the blood in hopes that it was a false positive. But there was no need to send the sample back to the lab. Through a microscope, my vet could see microfilaria swimming in her blood sample.

I’m shocked and upset. My husband and I take excellent care of our dogs. How could this have happened? 

What is a Heartworm in Dogs?

Heartworm in dogs (dirofilariasis) is a serious and potentially fatal disease caused by a parasitic Dirofilaria worm that grows up to 14 inches long. These worms grow to live in a poor infected dog’s heart, lungs, and pulmonary artery. Mosquitos infect dogs with heartworms through their bites, so warmer areas are more prevalent with this pest.

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