Heartworm disease is a very serious illness caused by the heartworm parasite (Dirofilaria immiti) which is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. Adult heartworms develop in the animal’s heart within 6 to 7 months of the initial infective bite – causing fatal conditions such as heart failure, lung disease and other severe organ complications.
Although treatment of the disease can be risky, heartworm positive pets can have shortened life expectancies by several years if left untreated. The cost of preventing the disease will also amount to far less than the treatment of a heartworm positive pet. Prevention can cost as little as a few dollars a month, while treatment itself can be deadly and cost roughly $1000-2000.