- Disease of the pulmonary vasculature caused by the parasite Dirofilaria immitis (Figure 1, above)
Figure. Gross photo of Dirofilaria immitis in the pulmonary artery of a dog. Courtesy Dr. Julia A. Conway
- D immitis is found in all 50 states, with increased prevalence in warmer climates.
- Mosquitoes extract the L1 microfilarial stage of D immitis from an infected dog.
- L1-L3 molting occurs within the mosquito.
- The L3 larval stage enters the bloodstream of another dog when the mosquito bites.
- L3-L5 (adult) molting occurs within the dog.