My mum had me visit her friend again this week, the vet, not sure he is my friend as he does some strange things to me and injects me. This week mum wanted to talk about heartworm (Dirofilaria immitis) and the problems it can cause for dogs and what she could do about it. I think the recent adverts on the TV have got her thinking.
Apparently heartworm is a nasty infection that mainly affects dogs but some cats too. You get infected via mosquitos and apparently show no real symptoms for a while until the larvae matures, one of the first signs being a cough after exercise and also becoming very tired after exercise. My mum is concerned because I lived out in the open at the shelter the first 18 months of my life and there were lots of mosquitos. I sleep a lot and get tired very easily, but I am only little and as the vet says a little overweight!! My mum has been really strict with my food and no treats except for teeth cleaning chews but she was away for 3 weeks and my dad spoils me, oh he got into so much trouble when she came back but I like his treats !
The vet took some blood and we have to go back in a week but he thinks I am fine -so do I, but he gave my mum lots of literature and told her to read up and he would discuss what to do when my results came back but there are two types of preventative treatment, a topical one for the skin or a 6 monthly injection – I hope my mum does not choose the injection. I heard her telling my dad that prevention is way better than cure, I agree do not like the sound of being so poorly. Apparently us poor dogs can also get a few other ‘worms’ my mum has printed out a list of them with signs and symptoms from a really good site she found online although I get preventative treatment for most of them from her friend the vet so I guess other than being a bit fat I am fairly healthy, will know for sure next week when we (sigh) go again.