Filariasis in dogs

filariasis is caused by a nematode, the wired. It is a non contagious parasitosis directly from dog to dog. Transmission is via a vector host (transporter) in which the parasite completes part of its life cycle. These intermediate hosts are hematophagous Diptera, mosquitoes. Wireworm, widespread in warm, humid and temperate environments, is a whitish parasite 20-30 cm long. In the adult stage, it lodges in the heart and the pulmonary artery where it feeds on plasma. The macrofilariae, adult forms of the parasite, produce the microfilariae (immature forms) that are released into the blood.

The mosquito that stings a dog in the phase of microfilairemia, ingests, sucking the blood, microfilariae. The larvae continue their evolution and, if after 20 days, the same mosquito bites another dog, he will transmit him dermal advanced microfilariae. For 80 to 120 days, these microfilariae do not move anywhere and arrive, after many mutations, into adulthood. It is then that they are carried by the blood to the heart and the pulmonary artery. This parasitosis is well known and feared hunters who are aware that a dog with filariasis goes against cardiovascular disorders able to reduce its resistance to fatigue.

Symptoms of Filariasis

A dog with filariasis gets tired quickly. He drools, is coughing; his breathing is irregular. Because of the considerable mass of parasites that inhabit it, the heart is subjected to excessive effort when it pumps blood. This overwork can lead to a hypertrophy of the cardiac wall, responsible later for heart failure. These disorders may be followed by classical circulatory disorders with ascites (fluid effusion in the peritoneal cavity), hepatomegaly, pulmonary edema, renal failure and death of the animal.

Treatment

There is a specific product based of arsenic, able to eliminate adult worms. It may be necessary to combine with this therapy a pharmaceutical treatment to stop the disorders following the death of the parasite

Prophylaxis

Pyrethrum, creams and mosquito products for use in summer and autumn, mosquito nets on the windows. In humid areas, avoid going out the dog very early in the morning and in the evening. Chemical prophylaxis based on microfilaricides. There are currently commercially available tablets to be administered once a month during the mosquito season...