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1. A parasitic filarial worm (Dirofilaria immitis) that is transmitted by mosquitoes and infects the pulmonary arteries and often the right side of the heart of dogs and other canids and sometimes other mammals, including cats.
2. The condition resulting from infection with heartworms, characterized by respiratory symptoms and fatigue.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(Animals) a parasitic nematode worm, Dirofilaria immitis, that lives in the heart and bloodstream of vertebrates
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014



1. a parasitic nematode, Dirofilaria immitis, transmitted by mosquitoes and invading the heart and pulmonary arteries of dogs and other canids.
2. the disease caused by infection with heartworm.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
* Caval syndrome--typically associated with large numbers of adult heartworms in the pulmonary arteries, causing pallor, tachycardia, sudden collapse, as well as hemolytic anema (red blood cells are destroyed and removed from the bloodstream before their normal lifespan is over), hemoglobinemia (excessive amounts of hemoglobin in the blood plasma), and hemoglobinuria (when unusually high concentrations of hemoglobin are found in the urine).
I am confused about a point in your July/August 1987 article in the Post concerning heartworms in dogs.
The American Heartworm Society states that, "The cat is an atypical host for heartworms, and most worms in cats do not survive to the adult stage.
Coyotes are a big reservoir for heartworms. Of course these would have to be spread by mosquitoes for the life cycle to continue.
If you are fortunate enough to livein a region without mosquitoes, you don't have to worry about dog heartworms unless you take Bowser to a beach, a lake, or another region that has the pesky carrier insects.
Readers who handle shelter dogs or others who are heartworm positive may also need to turn to minocycline or the older drug tetracycline for the 30-day antibiotic treatment prior to administering an adulticide to kill heartworms.
I was recently talking with a friend of mine whose dog was infected with heartworms, and this made me worry about my kitty.
And if they are allowed to thrive within their host, heartworms can live for five to seven years or longer.
In the case of heartworms your veterinarian will perform blood tests for diagnosis and a preventative schedule.
They are indeed less commonly infected by heartworms than dogs, and approximately 80 percent of infected cats clear the infection without signs of disease, but studies have shown the incidence of infection to be greater than previously thought.
With Immiticide unavailable, the American Heartworm Society (AHS) has issued guidelines for treating heartworm-positive dogs to try to mitigate the damage that heartworms cause while in the body and the danger they present when they die.