Treatment is effective. The goal is elimination of the primary disease agent, the adults. Two arsenical drugs are currently approved for use in dogs, melarsomine hydrochloride (Immiticide; Merial) and thiacetarsamide sodium (Caparsolate; Merial). Treatment requires concomitant restriction of exercise and use of anti-inflammatory support to reduce the possibility of pulmonary thromboembolism from the dead heartworms. Microfilaria are eliminated by secondary treatment with ivermectin or milbemycin. Prevention of heartworm infection is safer and more economical than treatment and is accomplished readily by routine administration of diethylcarbamazine (daily in the diet) or one of the macrolide anthelminthics (monthly treatment; ivermectin, milbemycin, moxidectin, selamectin) during the transmission season.

See Also the Following Articles

Blood Sucking • Mosquitoes • River Blindness • Veterinary Entomology • Wolbachia • Zoonoses, Arthropod-Borne

Further Reading

American Heartworm Association (2001). Anderson, R. C. (2000). "Nematode Parasites of Vertebrates: Their

Development and Transmission," 2nd ed. CAB Int., Wallingford, UK. Bowman, D. D. (1999). "Georgis' Parasitology for Veterinarians," 7th ed.

Saunders, Philadelphia. Taylor, M. J., and Hoerauf, A. (1999). Wolbachia bacteria of filarial nematodes. Parasitol. Today 14, 437—442.

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