Cape Hawke Veterinary Hospital

Welcome to Cape Hawke Veterinary Hospital1/80 Kularoo Drive, Forster, NSW 2428 | Email Us
Phone: 02 6554 5811 | Emergency: 02 6554 5811 (if applicable)

Heartworm Prevention - Video by Dr David Hare

Causes, Treatment and Prevention of Heartworm in Dogs

Heartworm is caused by a parasitic round worm called Dirofilaria immitis.  It is spread by mosquitoes when they bite an infected dog to feed.

If left untreated the heartworm starts to reproduce in the right ventricle of a dog's heart, where it causes symptoms of congestive heart failure such as coughing, exercise intolerance and eventually death.

Treatment of affected dogs is risky as they can die during treatment.

Prevention of heartworm is therefore the best option. The easiest way of preventing heartworm is with an injection called proheart. This is first given to puppies at 12 weeks of age, then a second injection given 3 to 6 months later. After that the injections are annual.