Heartworm Disease


Louisiana leads the country with the highest number of heartworm positive animals. Spread by mosquitoes, heartworm disease affects a large portion of all animals that come to the Louisiana SPCA.

Heartworm life cycle

Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal condition caused by parasitic worms living in the arteries of the lungs and heart of cats, dogs and other mammals. All cats and dogs are susceptible to infection and in rare circumstances, Heartworms have even been found in humans. 

While Heartworm disease can be successfully treated in dogs, there is currently no treatment for cats. The cost for treatment varies depending on the veterinarian but can be very costly.

Heartworm cases by state in 2019.
Positive heartworm cases by state according


Heartworm disease is completely preventable and treatment is safe and inexpensive! Some treatment options include chewable tablets, topicals or injections.  The key is to provide Heartworm preventatives properly and on a timely schedule each month. As a pet owner it is your responsibility to faithfully maintain the prevention program you select during a consultation with your veterinarian.  

Before we can recommend the best type of heartworm medication for your pet, we do need a negative heartworm test on file at out Community Clinic.

How does my pet get heartworms?

In Louisiana, our pets are a part of our culture as much as anything else. And for more than 130 years, the Louisiana SPCA has been an advocate for all our furry friends across the state. Follow our Lead and show the characters of Louisiana you care by supporting the Louisiana SPCA.

The Louisiana SPCA helped more than 3,000 animals find their forever home in 2020.

Did you know that we’re not affiliated with the ASPCA and rely on local donations?