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September 5, 2017 Medicine

Heartworm is a potentially fatal parasite (Dirofilaria immitis) that lives in the heart and the blood vessels around the heart. What is heartworm disease? Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal disease in pets and is caused by foot-long worms that live in the heart, lungs and associated blood vessels of affected pets, causing severe lung disease, heart failure and damage to other organs in the body. Heartworm disease affects dogs, cats and ferrets, but the dog is a natural host, which means that heartworms that live inside the dog mature into adults, mate and produce offspring.


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