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How Important is Heartworm Prevention?

One of the most important things we as a rescue group learns from the adoption application process is how important heartworm preventative is to the potential adopter. We are able to determine through a vet check if your past pets were kept current on preventative, and if you plan to give your new family member a monthly preventative. We hear so often “oh my dog doesn’t need preventative because he/she only goes outside to run around and go to the restroom.” It only takes a second to be bit by an infected mosquito and then 6 months later your dog has full blown adult heartworms. 

Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal disease in pets. It is caused by foot-long worms (heartworms) that live in the heart, lungs and associated blood vessels of affected pets, causing severe lung disease, heart failure and damage to other organs in the body. It is caused by a parasitic worm called Dirofilaria Immitis and the transmission of the worms is simply spread through the bite of a mosquito. 

The dog is a natural host for the disease but it can also affect other household pets such as cats and ferrets. We recently had a kitty named Aurora test positive for heartworms and unfortunately there is not a clear treatment for cats like there is dogs. However, in cats they usually only harbor one to three worms and the worms do not live to reach the adult stage. RT4P prefers to keep our kitties safely indoors but if your kitty does like to spend time in the great outdoors we suggest they be put on a monthly preventative to keep them free of heartworm disease. 

Heartworm prevention typically costs on average around $10 a month depending on the size of the dog. What a bargain to use preventative considering treating a Heartworm positive dog for the average dog owner can costs upwards of $500. If you have a busy lifestyle and you think you can’t remember to give it monthly there is another option for you. ProHeart 6 is an injection that can be administered by a Veterinarian which will protect your dog for 6 months. The costs of the ProHeart 6 injection is the equivalent of 6 monthly doses of preventative. 

Road Trip 4 Paws has recently taken in several heartworm positive dogs and this is always an unexpected expense for the rescue. Aside from the additional cost involved we always dread the dogs having to go through the treatment because of the severity of the treatment and recovery process. It also delays by approximately 6 weeks their search for a forever home! 

We always want the best for our furry family members so hopefully this information will serve as a reminder for the importance of monthly heartworm prevention. It is a very simple and inexpensive way to keep your pets safe and healthy. 

If you would like to make a donation towards the treatment of our Heartworm positive dogs please click the “Donate” button below to connect to our PayPal or click the Donate tab at the top of the page.

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