Heart Worms

Dirofilaria immitis

Parasites are an unpleasant fact of life. Parasites come in all shapes and sizes and stages of development and can be very hard to diagnose. Parasites are organisms that reside and feed on the host in order to survive. There are a number of parasitic infestations that humans and household pets are susceptible to. The most noted parasites in household pets are parasitic worms. The heartworm, also known as Dirofilaria immitis, is by far the most deadly form of worm infestation and also one of the most preventable. Dirofilaria immitis is a complex parasite that can result in damage to an animal’s health and can be transferred from a dog or cat to other household ...

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of heartworm in dogs, now known to occur throughout the world in many species of host, was first described in “…1850 in Philadelphia, by Physician J. Leidy who assigned the name Filaria canis cordis,” but was later changed in the early 1900s (Boreham, 2). Since then, heartworm disease in dogs and cats has become a problem affecting household pets around the world.
Adult Dirofilaria are unsegmented round worms described as having an appearance similar to spaghetti. According to Boreham, “ the genus Dirofilaria consists of elongate, thin filarioid nematodes, whitish in coloration, with bluntly rounded anterior extremeties, rudimentary buccal capsules without lips, small cephalic papillae and an abbreviated esophagus indistinctly differentiated into muscular and glandular regions” (2). They range in length from about 17 cm, in the case of the males to about 27 cm in the case of the females (Boreham, 2). Hence, females may even attain the width of 1.0 to 1.3mm (Boreham, ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 3/21/2011 08:11:58 PM
Submitted By: keyqui123
Category: Biology
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 552
Pages: 3

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