Got mosquitos? Your dog’s life is at risk!

I moved to Texas about two years ago and coming from Colorado and New Mexico, heartworm just wasn’t as big a deal (although that is changing).  Now that I have been the Executive Director at Spay Neuter Network for a year now, I have seen the impact and tragedy of heartworm in dogs and that’s why I want to encourage every dog lover to get their dogs tested and on preventative.  I also want every dog lover to share this story!

“But my dog doesn’t play with other dogs or go outside.”  I hear that all the time from folks I talk to here at the clinic and when we have vaccination clinics.  Heartworm is transmitted through mosquitos and one mosquito bite is all it takes.  Heartworm larvae travel through the bloodstream to lodge in the heart and lungs and it can result in a horrible death.  This next part is gross, but I’m not going to hold back, because it’s important for the life of your dog.  Adult heartworms can grow up to 12 inches in length, can live 5-7 years, and a dog can have as many as 250 worms in its system. I have seen heartworms up close and personal in dogs during surgery and it’s scary and awful. Heartworm is present in all 50 states, but in Texas we are 146% above the national average for heartworm according to Banfield State of Pet Health!  If your dog is heartworm positive, there is treatment, but it can run into the hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars.

Here’s the good news, heartworm is preventable with a once a year test and a simple once a month pill or topical.  This month Spay Neuter Network has a rebate on Tri-heart during our wellness clinics.  The test is only $20 and preventative for a year will cost you between $33 and $56, depending on the size of your dog.  Truly your best friend is worth that.

Deanna Sauceda
SNN Executive Director