Mosquito-Borne Diseases (Heartworm disease in Dogs and Cats)

Common info

Mosquito is a small insect with its mouth similar to a tiny tube used for blood-sucking and parasites transmitting to any bitten animals. These include dogs and cats, which will be attacked by the mosquito, esp. in the areas covered by thin hair, such as ears and nose. When dogs or cats bit by an infected mosquito, they will show signs of itching and irritation similarly to those experienced in humans. The infected mosquitoes can transmit a severe disease to dogs and cats, in which the common disease occurs heartworm disease.


In 1856, Stanford University has discovered the first heartworm in the USA, with mosquitoes being intermediate hosts of the disease.


Heartworm disease in dogs and cats causing by heartworm under a scientific name Dirofilaria immitis. These types of parasites can found in blood vessels of infected animals with the mosquitoes is carriers of the disease. The mechanisms of the disease occur when mosquitoes feed the blood of infected animals. After the mosquitoes receiving blood that contaminates with the parasite, previously the heartworm is transferred through to other dogs by biting from the infected mosquitoes. Once the parasites enter inside a host, they are developed into an adult and moving to the right ventricle and pulmonary artery of pets.


  • Itching
  • Irritation
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Panting
  • Easily tiring
  • Dry cough
  • Fainting
  • Edema 
  • Ascites
  • Myocarditis
  • Heart failure
  • Breathing difficulty

The symptoms found in Heartworm disease in dogs and cats include itching, lethargy, loss of appetite, panting, easily tiring, dry cough, fainting, edema, ascites, myocarditis, heart failure, breathing difficulty, (other diseases may exhibit the same symptoms as the heartworm).  In order not to make a mistake; blood tests, as well as accurate diagnosis and treatment, should be given to the dog.

Treatment and Prevention

An important part of any heartworm treatment program is testing. The vet will perform a blood test to rule out heartworm disease before starting the program procedurally. Treatment should always be under the direction of the veterinarian. The owner of the dog should control the mosquito population around his/her home to reduce the chance of heartworm infection.

  1. Wikipedia | Mosquito
  2. Wagwalking | Mosquito bites
  3. AKC | Heartworm in dogs symptoms diagnosis treatment
  4. Hartz | Mosquito bites and your dog
  5. Mosquito | Mosquito-Borne Diseases
  6. Claudio Genchi, Laura Rinaldi and Giuseppe Cringoli. 2007. Dirofilaria immitis and D. repens in dog and cat and human infections. Veterinary Parasitology and Parasitic Diseases Department of Pathology and Animal Health Faculty of Veterinary Medicine University of Naples Federico II Via della Veterinaria. Italy .21-221.
  7. Eknst and J. O. D. Slocombe. 1982. Mosquito vectors of Diroflaria immitis in southwestern Ontario. CAN. J ZOOL. 62:212-216.
  8. Richard C. Russell and Merilyn J. Geary. 1996. The influence of microfilarial density of dog heartworm Dirofilaria irnrnitis on infection rate and survival of Aedes notoscriptus and Culex annulirostris from Australi. Medical and Veterinary Entomology.10:29-34.
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