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See what the veterinarian looks for under the microscope when examining a drop of blood from a heartworm  infested dog.  There can be tens of thousands of these tiny, writhing microfilaria throughout the dog's circulatory system.

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View all topics   There is a more reliable test for Heartworm that does not require microscopic analysis
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These tiny offspring from adult female heartworms are sheddirectly into the circulatory system.  When a mosquito bites this dog the insect takes in some microfilaria with the blood meal.  Within the mosquito and under certain aconditions of temperature and time the microfilaria are all set to be innoculated into the same or another dog when the mosquito strikes again! Now when these enter the bloodstream of the victim thay are called larvae and molt through 4 stages.  It is during molting that these microscopically small larvae are destroyed by nearly all available brands of "heartworm preventative".  So timing is important for these preventatives to work because if a dose is missed the developing larvae can pass through the 4 molting stages and develop to adult wormhood!
View adult heartworms
Adult heartworms in pulmonary artery
 

See a microscopic view of the tiny microfilaria dispersed into
the blood stream by fertile, 5 to 12 inch, thread-like female
heartworms living in the dog's pulmonary arteries
and right atrium and ventricle.

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