I have no excuse. I work at a veterinary hospital and have daily access to Heartworm prevention. I didn’t even take the time for a quick Heartworm test last year. It’s not like my dog comes to work with me every day, wait … SHE DOES!!!
I live in New England, dogs don’t get Heartworm up here I told myself. Boy, was I wrong! All it took was one mosquito to have a snack on an infected animal then turn around and bite my dog. I have since learned that the coyote, wolf and fox populations are all becoming infected with Heartworm thereby increasing the number of infected mosquitoes.
My dog has Heartworm disease and it’s my fault!!!
Now she has to endure one month of steroids and strong antibiotics which make her feel crummy. After this month is complete, she will receive a series of 3 deep muscle injections to kill all the adult worms. Her activity will be severely restricted for 2 months to prevent any worm fragments from lodging themselves in her heart, lungs or blood vessels. If she gets too excited, has an increased heart rate, or breathes too hard she could die.
I will never make this mistake again. Heartworm Disease is way too easy to prevent with monthly chews or twice a year injections. I will also become compliant and have her tested annually because no drug is 100% reliable and I do not want her to have to go through this again. Treating Heartworm disease is expensive and it puts your dog on the disabled list for at least 3 months. The total cost for treating my dog will be around $1500 versus the $180 it would have cost me to keep her up to date with testing and preventatives.
Please, take my advice, remember to test your dog annually and keep him or her current on Heartworm preventatives. We agree with The American Heartworm Society, preventatives should be given year round followed by annual testing. Cats can also get Heartworm and there is no treatment available. We recommend using Revolution as a Heartworm preventative for outdoor cats.
Call us to book your Heartworm test, order a 12 month supply of Heartworm preventatives or, better yet, book an appointment for a ProHeart injection. ProHeart is a Heartworm preventative which is administered in the hospital, is effective for 6 months and eliminates the need to remember to give the monthly chew.
Atlantic Veterinary Hospital
10 Ocean Avenue ~ Marblehead, MA