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Heartworm Awareness Month!

heartworm cycleApril is is Heartworm Awareness Month!  Many of you have heard about heartworms but did you know that all it can take is one bite from an infected mosquito to give your dog heartworms?  Here in Oklahoma, where we have such a wonderful mosquito problem (especially in the summertime!) it is important to keep your dog on heartworm prevention year round!  The AVMA recommends yearly heartworm tests,  year-round prevention and year round mosquito repellant which can be found in products such as Vectra and Advantix! We have 2 tests that we offer: the advanced one will test for heartworms as well as three tick-bourne disease and the basic one will test for heartworms alone.  Both of these, in the month of April, will be 1/2 off for Heartworm Awareness Month.

Treatment for heartworms is much more timely and costly than once a month prevention.  Treatment can involve being put on steroids and antibiotics to help treats the symptoms of heartworms. Once a dog tests positive for heartworms, it is put on exercise restriction to help reduce the chance of a heartworm becoming dislodged and causing problems. The following day, or soon after, heartworm preventative is administered to kill the adult heartworms.  If microfilariae are present it is important to pretreat with an antihistamine and to monitor them for at least 8 hours for any kind of reaction. After they have been on antibiotics for a month, the first immeticide injection is given between the 5th & 6th vertebrae in the lumbar muscle after doing bloodwork to check the liver and kidneys.  This can make the dog sore in the hind end so we like to keep the animals for the day so we can monitor them.  A month later, we will give the second injection and the following day we will give the third, in the same fashion.  Exercise restrictions must be continued for 6-8 weeks following the last injection, including walking outside on a leash when using the yard. Finally a month later we do one more test to test for microfilariae and continue on with year-round heartworm prevention.

As you can see, there is much more involved in treatment and in the words of Sweet Brown “Ain’t nobody got time for that!” Come on by and get your dogs heartworm tested and put on preventative and save yourself a big headache! I have been known to throw an occasional fit when getting my heartworm tablet but mom will then mix it with some canned food, or inside a Lean Treat or in a piece of cheese and then who can resist!  Call us if you have any questions at 733-4649!

half price hwt