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  Dog Heartworm Disease

dogheartworm


DOG HEARTWORM PARASITE

The only common and serious parasite transmitted by mosquitoes in Colorado is Dog Heartworm. Dog Heartworm is a relatively new problem in Colorado, but since it's introduction it has spread rapidly throughout many areas of the state. The transmission of this parasite occurs only through the bite of an infected mosquito, and involves a complicated development and transmission cycle. The severity of the disease in the host depends on the number of worms, the size and breed of the dog and general health of the animal. If the animal is not given proper drug treatments, the adult worms can live up to five years. Over time, several hundred worms can accumulate and restrict blood flow thus causing severe illness and death. Approximately 25% of the mosquito species found in Colorado are capable of transmitting heartworms, and these include the species that are commonly known as pests to man. Although isolated human infections have been reported, heartworm is not currently recognized as a human health problem. The parasite, however, is not limited to dogs. The fox, coyote, wolf, raccoon, skunk, muskrat and opossum may also be infected.

 

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