Have a Heart for Healthy Hearts

Posted on Wednesday, September 9th

Have a Heart for Healthy Hearts

So many of the dogs and puppies we rescue have a variety of illnesses, but one deadly illness we see most often is heartworm disease. At times, as many as 50% of the dogs at Furkids are in heartworm treatment – an expensive process that lasts 90 days, from pre meds to injections, and costs roughly $400 when we factor in medications, blood tests, veterinarian and medical staff time, and care for the longer period of time they are with us.

We work to mitigate these costs by shortening length of stay when we can by allowing local adoptions. We are so grateful that adopters open their homes knowing there is work still to be done. This work includes return visits for treatment by our veterinarians, and we cover the cost of medications. It helps Furkids manage costs, but only minimally. So far in 2020, Furkids has invested approximately $40,000 in heartworm care – and we still have three months to go in this very difficult year! 

Heartworm disease is a serious illness that is caused by a parasitic worm, spread through a simple mosquito bite. The worms are called “heartworms” because the adult worms live in the heart, lungs, and associated blood vessels of an infected animal. Without treatment, heartworm disease results in severe lung damage, heart failure, kidney and other organ damage, and eventually leads to death.

So many of the dogs we rescue had homes, but did not receive the preventative monthly heartworm care recommended by veterinarians. They were surrendered to animal control because their owners could not afford the expensive treatments. What a terrible price for these loving animals to pay - and it is avoidable.

Prevention is the Best Treatment

Preventing heart disease begins early. Dogs that are seven months and older should be tested for heartworms before starting heartworm prevention. If a heartworm-positive dog is not tested before starting a preventive, the dog will remain infected with adult heartworms until it gets sick enough to show symptoms. Heartworm preventives do not kill adult heartworms. Also, giving a heartworm preventive to a dog infected with adult heartworms may be harmful or deadly. A dog may appear healthy on the outside, but on the inside, heartworms may be living and thriving. Annual testing of all dogs on heartworm prevention is recommended. Talk to your dog’s veterinarian about the best time for your dog’s annual heartworm test.   

Furkids Steps in, With Your Help

Furkids will continue to step in to rescue even more dogs that are heartworm positive. Without us, their outlook is dim. The new Furkids Heart2Heart fund can do even more with your help. Your gift – of any amount – will help save another heartworm positive puppy or dog from a terrible fate. Please help Furkids build this fund, and make it everlasting for the hundreds – even thousands of dogs who we know will need our help.

Source: fda.gov