Heart and Lung Worms in Dogs and Cats
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What is the name for heartworm?
What is the main host for Dirofilaria immitis?
What is the intermediate host for Dirofilaria immitis?
Where in the cardiovascular system are heartworms located?
Right atrium, caudal vena cava, pulmonary artery
Where geographically is Dirofilaria immitus located?
USA, warm temperate zones in Europe, tropics
Describe the life cycle of Dirofilaria immitis
Adults are in the heart, males and females mate, females give birth to L1s --> L1 (microfilarae) released into blood --> mosquito ingests microfilarae --> develop L1-L3 in mosquito, 10-14 days under optimal conditions --> L3 transmitted by feeding mosquito --> L3-L4-adult in SC tissues and skin --> juvenile adults migrate to the heart
What is the PPP for Dirofilaria immitis?
What does high numbers of adult Dirofilaria immitis cause?
- Chronic congested right sided heart failure
- Pulmonary embolism
- Vena cava syndrome
- Endocarditis in valves, pulmonary endarteritis
List some of the clinical signs of heartworm
- Cardiovascular dysfunction
- Listless/gradual loss of condition
- Exercise intolerance
- Chronic soft cough
How do we diagnose Dirofilaria immits?
- Clinical signs and history
- Detection of microfilarae in blood
- Detection of circulating antigen
Give a problem with the circulating antigen test for Dirofilaria immitis
It only detects females not males
Why is it best to use both detection of mf in blood and circulating antigen?
As some dogs will have occult infections (adults but no mf in blood) and a small percentage of dogs have mf but no Ag
How do we control Dirofilaria immitis?
- Give macrolytic lactones monthly to kill the L3 and L4 or give DEC daily
- Keep animals indoors at peak mosquito biting times (dusk)
- Insecticide collars or spot on
- Attempt to reduce mosquito population (but this is very difficult)
True or false: prophylactic drugs kill adult Dirofilaria immitis worms?
Why should dogs ideally be microfilarae negative pre-control treatment?
As if microfilarae positive dogs are treated it can induce anaphylactic shock, particularly if they have high mf counts
How do we treat dogs infected with Dirofilaria immitis?
- Surgical removal of adult worms
- Treatment with melarsomine
Is Dirofilaria immitis more or less pathogenic in cats?
What causes the pathology of Dirofilaria immitis in cats?
Inflammatory response to worms/worm death (not biomass like in dogs)
Can we use melarsomine to treat Dirofilaria immitus in cats?
No - it is very toxic to cats
What is the name for lungworm of dogs?
What is the intermediate host for Angiostrongylus vasorum?
Where in body is Angiostrongylus vasorum located?
Right ventricle, pulmonary artery
Describe the life cycle of Angiostrongylus vasorum
Adults in heart --> female releases eggs --> eggs hatch in pulmonary capillaries --> L1 break into alveoli and migrate up lungs --> L1 in faeces --> L1-L3 in mollusc --> L3 released from IMH --> L4 - adult --> adult migrates to right side of heart
What is the PPP of Angiostrongylus vasorum?
What pathology does Angiostrongylus vasorum cause?
Chronic congestive heart failure, fibrosis in arteries, mottled lungs, bleeding
List some of the clinical signs of Angiostrongylus vasorum
- Early on - asymptomatic
- Increased respiratory rate, cough on exercise
- Fainting, SC haematoma
- Can be associated with brain and spinal cord haemorrhage
How do we diagnose Angiostrongylus vasorum?
- Do a Baermann faecal sample. L1 in faeces have characteristic tail with small spine.
- Ag test
Geographically where is Angiostrongylus vasorum located?
UK and Europe
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