Parker County Today April 2017 - Page 45

our advice: ASK DR. CATE Vet Rap by Dr. Ryan Cate Getting to the Heart of Prevention Dear Dr. Cate, At my pet’s annual checkup, they recommended a heart- worm test. I keep my dog on a monthly preventative. How could he still be infected with heartworms? Also, he mentioned something else we should add as another layer of protection. Do you know what that would be? A: Heartworm preventatives are not technically preven- tatives! They work after the fact to kill any heartworm larvae that may have infected your dog or cat in the prior 30 days. A heartworm test will tell your veterinarian if your pet currently has any live larvae that need immedi- ate attention. Heartworm disease is deadly and is taken very seriously by your vet! Q: How does my dog or cat get heartworms? A: It all starts with an infected dog and a mosquito! There are currently 22 different species of mosquitoes that can carry heartworm, and they are active at different times of the day and year. The mosquito bites a dog that has the immature heartworms (called microfilaria) circulating in its blood. Once it ingests the blood, the microfilaria develop and after about a week, these immature heart- worms change to larvae inside the mosquito. The mosqui- to then bites a healthy dog and transmits the larvae to the healthy dog. This dog now is infected with heartworm larvae that grow to adults and reproduce. It only takes ONE mosquito bite to transmit deadly heartworm disease. Because we live in the south, our climate has mosquitoes year round and therefore pets are at risk! This is why it is important to stay on heartworm preventative year round too. Preventatives are available in oral form OR as an injection given to your dog twice per year. The reason that vets focus so much on heartworms is because they are nasty and depending on the stage of infection they can cause a mild cough, loss of appetite, fatigue, reluctance to exercise and at its latest stages congestive heart failure and death. It can take up to six months for your animal to develop mature heartworms. Heartworm treatment is onerous. It can take up to five months for an animal to be treated the conventional way for heartworms. It is a series of three shots and the animal must be kept calm and quiet throughout treatment. Our local community is trying to do something about heartworm positive pets starting with the animals at the Weatherford/Parker County Animal Shelter. The reason is if there are less infected dogs and cats in our area, there is less chance of a mosquito biting them and spreading heartworms around. Under a new protocol, all animals at the shelter are given Vectra 3D to repel pests. Parker County Pets Alive has also raised and spent $30,000 to treat all heartworm positive pets that come into the shelter rather than euthanize them. The pets are fostered out for the quiet and calm that is necessary during the treatment, and they are seen by either Dr. Kent or myself during that time. These foster parents are doing great work helping these dogs back to health so they can be adopted and find their forever homes. Every year veterinary medicine changes as new drugs, treatments and protocols are tested and introduced. Unfortunately for pet owners, I don’t see a time in the future where heartworms won’t be a problem in the south. Fortunately for us, there is a simple and safe solu- tion to both repel and prevent heartworms in our pets. Ask your vet what is the best solution and medication for your animals. Until recently, your veterinarian has tried to prevent heartworm disease in pets by providing the same types of heartworm preventatives, these products have been very successful. However, in recent years there has been a dramatic increase in the number of heartworm posi- tive cases including resistant cases, along with a grow- ing mosquito population. Because of Ρ‘•Ν”‘…±±•Ή•Μ°)Ρ‘”΅•Ι₯…Έ!•…ΙΡέ½Ι΄M½₯•Ρ䁹½άΙ•½΅΅•Ή‘́ё…Π)Ω•Ρ•Ι₯Ή…Ι₯…ΉΜ…‘Ω₯Ν”Α•Π½έΉ•ΊѼΥΝ”‰½Ρ „ΡΙ…‘₯Ρ₯½Ή…°)‘•…ΙΡέ½Ι΄ΑΙ•Ω•ΉΡ…Ρ₯Ω”°…Ή„ΑΙ½‘ՍЁё…Ё…Έ­₯±°…Ή)Ι•Α•°΅½ΝΕΥ₯Ρ½•ΜΈQ‘”½½Ή•έ́₯́ё•Ι”₯́„ΑΙ½‘ՍΠ)Ρ‘…Ё…Έ‘Ό©ΥΝЁё…ΠΈY•ΡΙ„€Ν₯́„ΑΙ½‘ՍЁё…Ё₯́ΑΙ½Ψ΄)•ΈΡΌ‰”•™™•Ρ₯Ω”…Ё­••Α₯Ήœ΅½ΝΕΥ₯Ρ½•Μ™Ι½΄‰₯Ρ₯Ήœε½ΥΘ)Α•Π„]‘•ΈY•ΡΙ„€Ν₯́Α…₯Ι•έ₯Ρ „‘•…ΙΡέ½Ι΄ΑΙ•Ω•Έ΄)Ρ…Ρ₯Ω”€΄₯Ё₯́ΑΙ½Ω•ΈΡΌ‰”₯ΉΙ•‘₯‰±δ•™™•Ρ₯Ω”₯ΈΑΙ•Ω•ΉΡ₯Ήœ)‘•…ΙΡέ½Ι΄₯Ή™•Ρ₯½Έ™Ι½΄•Ω•ΈΡ‘”΅½ΝЁɕΝ₯ΝΡ…ΉΠΡεΑ•Μ½˜)‘•…ΙΡέ½Ι΄ΈQ‘₯́₯́„½Ή•ΑЁ…±±•=U 19MΈ)́„‰½ΉΥΜ°Y•ΡΙ„Μ΅…±ΝΌ­₯±±Μ…ΉΙ•Α•±Μ½Ρ‘•ΘΑ…Ι…Ν₯Ρ•Μ)ΝՍ …́™±•…Μ°Ρ₯­Μ°‰₯Ρ₯Ήœ™±₯•Μ°±₯”…ΉΝ½΅”ΡεΑ•Μ½˜)΅₯Ρ•ΜΈ(Π