Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Mosquitoes; More Than Just Annoying

I can’t wait for Spring to come to where I live in Western Massachusetts.  But Spring and Summer bring out all kinds of buggies.  Most buggies are okay, they just fly around and don't bother anyone.  But, there are some that are very dangerous. Just the other day I found out there is very, very bad buggy.  It’s called a mosquito.  They are ugly looking (except to another mosquito), they fly around making this awful buzzing sound and some of them carry diseases.  One disease that mosquitoes carry is heartworm disease.  Heartworm disease can make a dog very, very sick and can even make him died.

I am getting a new sister but she got bit by one of those bad mosquitoes and she has heartworms.  She lives in South Carolina now and I wanted her to come here right away but Mom told me that she has to get better first.  Mom told me she has a very hard road ahead of her but that she is strong and she will be good as new soon.

Heartworms are very bad worms.  They start off very tiny.  They make their home in a dog’s heart where they start to grow.  In about 6 or 7 months they are full grown and take up a lot of room in the heart.  Unless they are killed, they can live for 5 or more years and eventually, they will kill the dog.  It is a horrible disease that is easy to prevent.

All puppies need to see a vet when they are very young and the vet will test them and then put them on medicine that will keep heartworms away.  My Mom gives me my heartworm meds every month and my vet checks me every year.  So I know I do not have heartworms.

You need to get tested because it is not easy to tell if a dog has heartworms because until they are very sick, they act like happy normal dogs.  Dogs with heartworms get tired easily and they lose weight.   Vets know how to kill heartworms so you should go to the vet and get checked so if you do get them, the vet can make them go away.

Killing heartworms is not pleasant.  The dog needs to get 2 or 3 shots of some nasty stuff.  The shots make the dog feel sick and sometimes they stay with the vet for a few days. The nasty stuff kills the heartworms but they are still in the dog.  The dead heartworms will go away but the dog needs to be very quiet for a long time, weeks, which means no playing or long walks at dog park.  They have to be quiet so that the heartworms don’t get stuck in the heart or lungs.  If that happens, the dog could still get died.

So, please think good thoughts for my sister to get well and make sure you get tested and are taking your heartworm meds every single month so you are healthy and happy and don’t have to get nasty shots and stay quiet.

Your friend,
P.S.  Shameless self promotions:  When my new sister comes to live with me, I am going to give her one of our To The Rescue Gift Baskets so she will have everything she needs to feel right at home.

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