Cardiopulmonary filariosis is a parasitic disease of dogs transmitted by mosquitos.
Parasites (filariae) grow inside the pulmonary arteries and, when numerous, even in the heart. Filariae lead to important vascular damages and can cause serious respiratory distress. The disease, if not properly treated, can be lethal.
Surgical extraction of grown up filariae (macrofilariae) from the heart and pulmonary arteries is the mini-invasive intervention of choice for dogs with severe infestations. Grown up filariae are extracted by a flexible forceps "Flexible Alligator Forceps", introduced into the heart passing through the jugular vein.
The intervention is perfomed under fluoroscopic control. The flexible forceps reaches the heart and the pulmonary arteries (picture on the left), where the grown up filariae are situated. The opening of the flexible forceps permits to take the grown up filariae (picture on the right).
Transoesophageal echocardiography (picture on the left) is necessary to recognize the grown up filariae during the extraction intervention and to guarantee their complete removal. The arrow indicates a macrofilaria inside the pulmonary artery. The flexible forceps reaches the pulmonary artery with the help of transoesophageal echocardiography (clip on the right).