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Old 05-22-2012, 10:05 PM
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Where Did Heartworms Come From?

Where did heart worms come from? We always had dogs, alwasy 2 or 3 (pinters & English Setters) for quial hunting when I was growing up. My Dad had always had dogs. Most of ours lived to be 11 or older..despite living out doors, eating plain old Purina dog chow and only getting distemper and rabies shots, not all had distemper shots.

I watched the two "indoor dogs" next door die of heart worms and we never had a dog with those symptoms ---gasping for breath, only able to walk a few steps before collapsing, etc. when I was a kid. First time we ever heard of heartworms was early 70's when my dad's elderly setter, Commander was diagnosed with them and treated with arsenic. In a couple of days he was totally blind and then died. Our dogs hunted til they died. Many had arthritis with old age, but still wanted to hunt and did so. Mack was 15 when he finally passed.

But the thing is, we had never heard of them, and nobody we knew lost their dogs like the two next door. Were heartworms not around all those years ago? If not, where did they come from. I donate to a 3 different rescues--one in Florida, one in Calfi. and one here in Texas and get newsletters from them all. It is unbelieveable the amount of heart worm positive dogs that are turned in to them. Heck, my Honey had them went we adopted her.

Anyone have the answeres?
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Old 05-22-2012, 11:07 PM
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Good question. I had never heard of heartworms until we moved to SC in the early 80's. Even then they were pretty well limited to the deep south.
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Old 05-22-2012, 11:17 PM
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Infected mosquito bites dog- Larva is transferred to do with bite- Larvae becomes worm- Worms travel through the bloodstream to the heart- Worms start to reproduce and keep reproducing til the heart if full and blood can no longer get in and be circulated properly.

Heartworm Causes and Treatment | The Paw Blog

Heartworm meds kill the larvae before they become worms.
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Old 05-22-2012, 11:49 PM
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I'd wager that dogs did get heartworm back then, but since it was less common to take the dogs to the vet as regular as we do today, it probably went undiagnosed. Very much the same as cancer and thyroid issues.
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Old 05-23-2012, 01:51 AM
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But the thing is, we never had a dog get like the 2 next door who died of heart worms. They lived long lives and were active til the end, hunting, etc. After watching Buddy and Cherry die..it was awful...I am sure none of ours ever had them, or didn't get them til very old age. And that probably would hav been hard. We had two ponds, one in our pasture, one across the road. There wa also a marshy area not far from us. And everyone had dogs.

I remember when there was no such thing as fire ants here---til they were brought in to kill boll weeviles I think it was. I emembe when there was no killer bees here--til they wre brought in South America and escaped. Also that fast spreading stuff, kudzo or something like that, that was brought in. Now it is over taking a lot of land, fireants here in Texas has just all but destroyed the quail population, and every yer people are attacked by killer bees. Reminds of an old margarine commercial where "mother nature" swears it is butter, but I think it was Parkay and she sayd "It isn't nice to food Mother Nature."

Anway, i knewabout mosquitoes spreading the heartworm.s But I was just wondering how they came to be here in the first place. Had we not lived in a very mosquito place and had dogs live so long and never hae the problems I saw Buddy and Cherry hae, I would think they had them. But I do not think they did.
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GRREAT PYRENEES, MOOSE, AGE 7 ADOPTED SEPT. 30, 2014

MY GOLDEN BABIES T THE RAINBOW BRIDGE
SCOOTER--6-14- 1994 -- 8-22-1999
BUCK 2-8-1995 ------5-15-2007
HUNTER 8-19-1999--10-16-2003
KAYCEE 8-19-1999---5-25-2008
HONEY --FIRST BIRTHDAY/GOTCHA DAY DEC. 7-2002------AUG. 13, 2014
AND AT THE BRIDGE
OUR ADOPTED BLIND GREAT PYRENEES MIX, SHAGGY DOG, ADOPTED AUG. 31, 2014 ABOUT 7 YERS OF AGE. DIED SEPT 23, 2014





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Old 05-23-2012, 11:05 AM
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In this article, it was said that heartworm disease in dogs appeared in the US over 100 years ago. Wow!

American Heartworm Society | What Is Heartworm Disease?
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Old 05-23-2012, 02:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cgriffin View Post
In this article, it was said that heartworm disease in dogs appeared in the US over 100 years ago. Wow!

American Heartworm Society | What Is Heartworm Disease?

I just read some of the information, I didn't know cats got heartworms . My outdoor, almost 16 y.o. cat has never taken heartworm preventative and is still going strong. He isn't infected as far as I know.
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