Our Heartworm Clinic is approaching fast! Many of you may be wondering why your dog needs to have a heartworm test. To answer this, we asked our staff to share their experiences with heartworm disease. Our vet assistant Emma asked us to share the story of her roommate, Oliver!
“Oliver is a 4-year-old lab mix from Texas. He came to Colorado through the Animal Debt Project, and was diagnosed with heartworm disease just before he arrived. The rescue decided that they would provide all of his treatment as long as he went to a loving home. My roommate knew that she could provide just that and he went to live with her. When she got him, Olly was underweight and super skittish. Normally, a healthy, adult rescue animal goes to the vet once or twice for preventative care and then gets to spend lots of time at home with their new family. Olly, however, required monthly treatments for his heartworm disease. He was required to be hospitalized for a full day, during which he received a shot in his leg muscle. This injection functioned to kill the worms living in his heart, but it caused him pain throughout his body and forced him to go home on an anti-inflammatory for a full week. For days after the injections he would be lethargic and whine from the discomfort. The worst part is that he was on almost complete exercise restriction throughout his treatments and for several months afterwards. Finally, three months later, his treatments were complete. But he still had to go back for rechecks and blood draws three more times over the next year to make sure the worms were actually gone. Luckily, his mom was not financially responsible for this treatment because the rescue decided to pay for it in order to give him the best chance at a permanent home. However, the full cost of diagnosis, treatment, and follow up care was upwards of $2,500!”
Olly’s story ended in a happy way. He has now been heartworm free for over a year and has the best life anyone could ask for. But it doesn’t always end this way. Heartworm disease can and often is fatal, and not every owner has the ability to get a dog through treatment. However, it is a disease that is so easily prevented! Heartworm preventative is a once monthly, chewable tablet that dogs love! The only requirement for them to be on it is a once yearly, relatively inexpensive blood test. You can get a heartworm test done at a reduced price at our clinic on April 5th and 6th and purchase your full year of heartworm preventative. All you need to do is call to schedule an appointment! We hope to see you there!