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Volume 25(4), Winter 2015

Reprint paper

Heartworm infection caused

by Dirofilaria immitis in a

dog imported to Norway

by Liva Ihle Vatne

Life cycle


Biological life cycle for D repens and D immitis (diagram designed by Fernando Simón)

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Heading north


Heartworm infection caused by D immitis is at present rarely encountered in Norway; however, disease profiles are likely to change in Scandinavian countries with changes in climate and international pet travel regulations.


(source: ESCCAP)




The foreign bodies were linear with a circular cross section depending upon the angle of insonation. Based on the appearance of the foreign bodies and the medical history, it was assumed that these were heartworms.

Dirofilaria immitis infection was diagnosed in a three-year-old male entire crossbreed dog that had recently been imported to Norway from Romania in accordance with the European pet travel scheme.

The dog underwent a number of serological tests on arrival, as advised by the Norwegian Food Safety Authority, and was seropositive for

D immitis. Further diagnostic tests were performed in order to establish the severity of heartworm disease and thereby make an appropriate treatment plan. The dog had clinical signs that could be attributable to heartworm disease. Echocardiographic examination revealed dilation of the pulmonary artery and linear foreign bodies in the pulmonary ...

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