Heartworms have been common in the south eastern coastal states for more that 50 years. During the last 20 they have become areal threat to our Rottweilers. They have slowly spread inland from East coast and now few states, if any, are free from heartworms. Hundreds of dogs die every year from this deadly parasite.
The heartworm depends on both the dog and the mosquito in order for it to continue. Adult heartworms are found i the right ventricle of the heart and adjacent vessels. The larvae produced from the adult female heartworm is called micofilaria. These microscope creatures will circulate through your dog's blood vessels until a feeding mosquito ingests them. Once inside the host mosquito, the microfilaria will develop into its second and third stages. This takes about 2 to 3 weeks. It is at the third stage, when the mosquito bites your Rottie or someone else s's dog, the larva is then deposited back into the unfortunate canine. Next the larvae moves to the fat or muscle cells underneath the skin where they then molt and again make a transformation a fourth and fifth time.