Understanding & Preventing HEARTWORM Disease

Heartworm disease, also known as dirofilariasis, is a serious and potentially fatal illness caused by a bloodborne parasite called Dirofilaria immitis. The disease can cause severe lung problems, heart failure, and other organ damage in dogs, cats, and ferrets. It is unknown exactly how many pets in the United States are infected with heartworm disease each year, but the American Heartworm Society (AHS) estimates that more than 1 million dogs were heartworm-positive in 2016. Although the incidence is highest in southeastern states, no region is immune—heartworm infection is a nationwide problem.

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