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Animal Dieases

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VET223: Animal Diseases, Pathology and Immunology Research Project | Cassandra Reid | | | | Student number; 21611523 | December 4, 2013 | |

Dirofilaria immitis
Dirofilaria immitis otherwise known as canine heartworm disease. It is a parasitic worm that lives as an adult in the right side of the animal’s heart, and large blood vessels leading to the lungs. The mosquitoes are the intermediate host for heartworms. The female adult worms in the heart and vessels microfilariae in the blood, which are immature worms that can live up to three years.
The mosquitos feeds on animals and ingest the microfilaria which matures in the mosquito for about two weeks to become an infected larva. When the mosquito feeds on another animal the microfilariae is passed to that animal. There the microfilariae the larva develops over three to six months, and migrate to the right side of the heart. About six months the larva develops into an adult worm. The adult worm can live up to seven years, and produce microfilaria which completes the life cycle. Heart worms a very serious health issue. Which can lead to right ventricular dilation, hypertrophy, heart failure, and death.
Clinical signs can occur within six months or latter from the time on infected. The physical signs can be very mild to severe depending on the number of adult worms present. Which can range from coughing, difficulty breathing, and abnormal heart sounds to death.
There are several tests that could be done to diagnosis heartworm disease. The oldest way knots test, but it is still used in some clinics. Which few drops of blood are passed through a fine filter which traps any microfilariae passed through it. Then a drop of stain is applied to the filter which outlines the microfilaria, and viewed under a microscope at 100x-400x magnification.
These days we use an Elisa test which...

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