I was curious to know how dogs actually get this dangerous and often fatal illness, and even though there is heartworm treatment for dogs available (much like flea prevention), less than half of dog owners actually use any type of preventative measures against heartwood, on their dogs at all. How do dogs get heart worm in the first place? Is my own dog at risk of heart worm? What can I do to protect my dog?
What is heartworm in the first place? Heartworm is a parasite spread by mosquitos when the dog gets bitten, and can be fatal in dogs. Dogs who get heart worm often carry the parasite for months before they show very serious symptoms (6 months or so), and even then, they may not be serious enough for owners to pay heed, or for owners to know what they are looking for.