Heartworm Positive Dogs
Dogs treated for HW can live normal lives and live to be old dogs. However, there is a stigma against those dogs, and after treatment it is very difficult in our market to find homes willing to adopt them. We have experienced extreme challenges finding other rescues to accept them as well. In fact, it is very hard to find anyone to adopt a dog that was treated for HW, even when treatment was easy for the dogs with stage one or two.
The public needs to know that these dogs can live normal lives and indeed, live to be very old. The trick is to keep them on quality food, exercise after treatment, and stop worrying!!!
There was a time we could not afford to accept dogs that were heartworm (HW) positive. Because of donations we are now generally able to accept those needy dogs. We need foster families to help care for those dogs that require low exercise and stress during the recovery period.
When we are asked to help purebred dogs with HW, we generally expect their rescue groups to step-up and take responsibility for their care and the dog’s adoption. When purebred rescues do not step up we again ask you to help us help the dog in need.
Dogs with stage three HW are generally euthanized. The risk of complications during treatment and the lack of foster homes in our program make it too stressful for the few fosters who care for the bulk of the Project animals. Elderly dogs with stage two or three HW are generally euthanized because we are not a sanctuary set up to house elderly dogs until they die. To date, we have not had another rescue step-up to help those dogs either.
We have to look at the big picture: don’t go broke or fill up with dogs we can not give away or adopt out. We don’t believe there is “quality of life” for pets that must live confined in pens most of their lives or in the winter of their life. We also don’t feel it is fair for a dog to be elderly and be tossed in a large pack situation, which can be very stressful for most senior dogs.
Preventing HW is pretty simple. Keep your pet on a monthly preventative 12 months of the year.
The cost varies per type of preventative you use. Some include flea control. Most include de-wormer for the most common two intestinal parasites and some protect against as many as three intestinal parasites. Still other types can also protect against mange and lice.
Some brands are a topical you add to the back of the neck and shoulder area. Others are a pill form.
Which type is best for you? It can get confusing so ask your vet which brand is best for your pet in your area.
We don’t recommend purchasing from on-line sources. You may think these methods are cheaper. However, your vet generally runs specials such as you buy a pack of six and get one or two more free.
Protect your pet and your pocketbook. Purchase your HW supplies from a reputable source and budget for an annual exam to have your pet tested for HW. Sometimes they will come up positive even when on a preventative. This is rare. Some companies guarantee the results of their product and will pay for any HW treatment required for your pet. They may not do this if you do a mail order for your HW supplies.