figured this out-they're waiting for another mosquito to come along and bite the dog. The mosquito takes up some of the baby worms when it bites an infecteddog, and becomes ready to transmit the infection to a new dog.
It turns out that a warm climate is vital for the development of the baby heartworms. Toinfect a new dog, they have to become teen-agers. This is a process that requires thetemperature to stay balmy-if it dips below 57 degrees F for just a couple of hours itwon't happen. This process also takes several days. As a result heartworm infection isnot found in Alaska and parts of Canada, and is seasonal in many of the lower 48 states.But during the summertime when temperatures routinely stay above 57 degrees even atnight, you need to be on alert for heartworm. The daytime temperature has to begenerally 80 degrees or above for around two weeks for the babies to transform intoteenage heartworms (this can happen more rapidly if the climate is warmer).
Heartworm Disease and Symptoms
Unfortunately, in most cases heartworm disease doesn't exhibit too many symptoms. Itdepends on the load of adult worms that the dog has. If the number of adult wormsinfecting the dog is low, then the worms tend to live in the pulmonary arteries (arteriesin the lung) and in the right side of the heart. A large number of worms, as you mightimagine, can cause some serious health problems based on where they are living. Earlysigns of heartworm disease include a soft cough and a dog that tires easily after exercise.You can see how these symptoms might be overlooked in a lot of dogs, in fact theymight be missed entirely in a sedentary dog. Worse than this most dogs don't show anysymptoms at all.