December 22, 2014

Dog days of summer a reminder for pet health care

Mosquitoes are known as the deadliest creature on earth. They are carriers of a number of deadly diseases ranging from West Nile virus in people to heartworm in dogs, cats and a number of other animals. Dr. Stephen Jones is the president of the American Heartworm Society and wants every dog owner to take preventative measures.

Dr. Jones says the goal in treating heartworm is to kill the parasite and that can cause blood clots and other problems for the dog. During the treatment phase the dog must be confined and physical activity limited. Dr. Jones says many times that includes keeping the dog in a crate to prevent excessive activity. He says the cost for treatment starts in the hundreds of dollars and if there are complications easily reach the $1,000 mark.

Dr. Jones says the expense of a monthly pill or a vaccination every six months is money well spent. He says cats can also get heartworm but there is no treatment or preventative available Ferrets, fox, wolves, raccoons, coyotes, sea lions and in rare cases people.