GREENSBORO, N.C. — A Facebook post with a graphic picture of a heart with worms coming out of it, says you can get heartworms from your dog.
It says it's the heart of a child who died after sleeping near and kissing his dog claiming that transmitted the parasites. The post has been shared at least 39,000 times. And it's false.
To find out we looked at the source of the orginal picture and findings of the Centers for Disease Control.
That photo came from research published through the American Society for Microbiology where you can see it's clearly labeled as a "dog's heart" not a child's. But the article goes on to say humans can get the worms also. But not from your dog, instead the same way your pup get them: from mosquitoes bites. And in humans, the parasites would impact your lungs not your heart.
This is extremely rare according to the CDC. since 1941 there have been only 81 documented cases.
So go ahead and cuddle up with your dog. Just make sure to wear that bug spray.