Can Heartworm be Passed from Dog to Human?
Heartworms are unequivocally one of the most dangerous worms that can infest dogs. 13-14% of around 8 million dogs have diagnosed with Dirofilaria immitis i.e. heartworms. These worms enter your pooch’s body through a mosquito bite and then grow and multiply to coagulate and block the arteries causing heart failure and many other health issues. And, because of these repercussions of this infestation and human being the closest species to dogs, there is a question that arises in your mind-“Can Heartworms Be Passed From Dogs To Human?”
As mentioned above, heartworms are transmitted from one infested dog to another healthy dog through a mosquito bite. The heartworm larvae called microfilariae present in the blood are sucked by the mosquitoes when they bite. These microfilariae become infectious in the duration of 14-15 days of their stay in the mosquito’s body. So, when the mosquito bites the other healthy pup it transmits those infectious microfilariae into the body. These microfilariae then grow-up by feeding on the nutrients in the blood and travel towards the heart. Mature males being 4-6 inches long and female worms being 10-12 inches long, once they reach, they accumulate in the heart and block the blood flow hence causing severe health conditions.
A number of worms in a heart are called a worm burden. Generally, the average number of worms in the blood is 15 in an infected dog but the number can reach till 250 in bizarre cases.
Increased worm burden may lead to heavy infestations and symptoms like frequent coughing, getting tired after doing mild activities, breathing issues, and heart failure can be observed. Severe infestations with high worm burden can lead to your dog’s health to a fatal condition called caval syndrome. The heart gets filled with heartworms that block the blood supply to the heart resulting in heart failure. Surgical removal of the heartworms is the only option to save the infested dog (Many dogs die because of Caval syndrome even if the surgery is done).
It takes 6-7 months from the day of infection to find out that your pooch is infested by heartworms.
Cut The Crap. And Please Tell Us Can They Infect Human Or Not?
Well, the good news is, no, heartworm can’t be transmitted from infected dogs to humans and neither mosquito bite can
Related Blog : How to Get Rid of Heartworms In Your Dog
So, the take away from this information is that please don’t restrain yourself from loving your infected pooch because you will not get infested. And, the second and most important thing is that, start a heartworm preventive right away if you haven’t started it.
Heartworms are very tough to diagnose at an early stage and once it’s late the chances of treatment become more difficult and invasive.
David joined CanadaVetCare in 2013 as a product analyst and veterinary assistant. Being a passionate pet lover and keen animal health researcher, David had always found ways and solutions to help pet parents to improve their pets’ health. He is always happy to answer pet health-related queries and recommending pet parents for the right pet product for their furry companions.