Preventive Steps Can Be Taken To Help Keep Your Animals Free Of Heartworms

Heartworms in pets are more commonly found in the southern part of the country; however, there were six confirmed cases in Sheridan last year. While that number may not be large, it does indicate that the parasite is becoming more common in our area. Dr. Karen Serres with Moxey Schreiber Veterinary Clinic explains that heartworms can be very damaging to dogs and cats alike.

Serres says that there are preventive measures that can be taken by pet owners.

Serres said that even if you are giving your dog medication to prevent heartworms, it's still a good idea to have them checked annually.

I honestly don't know why...

...someone would not pay the $40 for a blood test and $30-40 every six months to pretty much guarantee that owner and dog would not ever have to go through treatment for this parasite. I've been through it with one of my dogs, its not fun. It may not be very common in this area yet but it wasn't that long ago that heartworm wasn't seen at all around here, long time vets hadn't seen a case in a local dog since coming to the area (when my dog was tested positive a couple years ago, my vet hadn't treated a case in 20 years since his days in another state where heartworm cases are as common as fleas, I talked to him months later and several other area dogs also tested positive after mine).

~$100/yr. to pretty much guarantee prevention vs. best case scenario if a dog comes up positive $1,000 for treatment (that's being conservative), 3-6 months of trying to keep the dog from moving a muscle (any activity that gets the heart going can be lethal), shots that are usually extremely painful to the deep muscle around the spine, oh and the shots can send the animal into shock and kill the animal. You just don't know until they receive them.

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