Wild canid carcasses were obtained during the 1986–1987 and 1987–1988 trapping seasons in Missouri. Hearts and lungs from 293 coyotes (Canis latrans), 85 red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and 70 gray foxes (Urocyon cinereoargenteus) were examined for Dirofilaria immitis. Age of hosts was determined by radiographic and histologic techniques. Nineteen coyotes (7%) had from 1 to 100 D. immitis and five red foxes (6%) had from 1 to 7 D. immitis, whereas gray foxes had none. This study indicates that heartworm prevalence differs by wild canid species within the same area and during the same time period.
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Vol. 27 • No. 1