Dirofilaria immitis is the medical term for the infection we all recognize as heartworm. The first cases of feline heartworm were reported in Brazil in 1921, since then it has been reported around the world. It is interesting to note that feline heartworm is reported more frequently in areas where dogs with heartworm are reported as well. However the number of reported feline cases remains lower than canine cases in these high-risk areas. Furthermore, the male cat is more susceptible to this disease than the female. Also the presenting symptoms and diagnostic approaches are different in dogs and cats reported to have contracted this disease.
Heartworm is passed on to cats by infected mosquitoes that carry the L3 Larvae. When the larvae mature and become adults they develop into worms and these parasites attach to their host and live within the body. [...]
Heartworms pose a very serious and life threatening condition in dogs if left untreated. A severe infestation can be fatal for any dog, however dogs that are very young, senior dogs or dogs with other health or respiratory problems are at high risk for death due to these internal parasites. Although heartworms historically were only found in the southern United States, mostly along the Mississippi River and the southern Atlantic and Gulf coastal areas, they are now found in almost every country including southern areas of Canada, all of South America, Australia, Europe and even into Japan. [...]
Since the United States encompasses such a huge land area as well as a diverse range of climates and environments, it is possible to plan an incredible number of vacations right within the country. After all you can spend the summer on the beaches of California, travel to see beautiful fall colors in the New England states, move through to Colorado for some outstanding skiing in the winter then vacation in Florida in the early spring. There are also the border states of Arizona, Texas and New Mexico if you want warmth virtually year round. [...]