What is heartworm disease?

Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal disease with worldwide distribution and endemic in many countries including Malaysia.  Adult worms live within the heart and large blood vessels where they can grow to more than 30 cm in length. Heartworm larvae, more commonly called microfilariae, can also be found circulating in an infected dog’s blood.


​​​​​​​How is heartworm in dogs spread?

Heartworms are transmitted from one dog to another by mosquitoes, which pick up the tiny microfilariae when they bite an infected dog. The microfilariae develop in the mosquito and are transmitted when the infected mosquito bites another dog. The heartworm larvae then migrate through the dog’s tissues and circulatory system, eventually reaching the heart and lungs where they grow into adult heartworms.

What are the signs of heartworm disease?

Signs of heartworm disease can be subtle and difficult to detect until its later stages. As the disease progresses, signs may begin to appear. Contact your veterinarian immediately if you notice coughing, difficulty breathing, sluggishness and less energy for exercise in your dog. Adult heartworm cause serious harm to your dog's heart and lungs, and if left untreated, heartworm disease can result in severe and potentially fatal disease.

Why is heartworm disease dangerous?

Heartworm may cause no clinical signs in the early stages of infestation, as the worms grow and mature, they can interfere with normal circulation of blood. This can result in signs of heart failure, and in some cases may lead to sudden death.

What is an effective heartworm treatment?

Treating heartworm infestations is difficult and can cause complications, so prevention is definitely much better than cure. Preventing heartworm disease is simple with a monthly HEARTGARD® Plus chew. Or make your parasite protection simple with NexGard SPECTRA®. Just one monthly chew of NexGard SPECTRA® protects against fleas, ticks, mites, heartworm disease, lungworm disease and intestinal worms. Protecting your dog from parasites has never been easier!