Heartworm disease is caused by a parasitic worm called Dirofiliara Immitis and can live inside a definitive host for five to seven years. They are transmitted by mosquitoes and can grow from four to 12 inches. Heartworms thrive in internal organs, specifically the heart, lungs and blood vessels. If left untreated, the disease can result in organ damage and eventually failure.
The disease commonly affects dogs, cats and ferrets, but can also affect other mammals such as wolves, coyotes and foxes. Early detection and treatment are key to eradicating heartworms.
– Deanna Deppen, Shy Wolf Sanctuary & Education Center