Your pet needs a heartworm test annually
Hawaiian Humane Society
Hawaiian Humane Society
Whether your dog lives outside or indoors, one simple test each year can be a heart-saver and keep your animal friend on track for a long, happy life.
The test is for heartworms, parasites that are transmitted by a mosquito bite. The parasite lives and breeds most often in the blood of dogs and rarely in cats and can be fatal to an infected animal. Early symptoms are difficult to detect: a cough, especially during exercise, and early exhaustion when being exercised. As the disease progresses, an infected animal will experience severe weight loss, fainting and eventually heart failure.
"Prevention is the best way to avoid the threat of the disease," said Dr. Carlene Takushi, veterinarian at the Hawaiian Humane Society. "Treatment to eradicate heartworms is stressful for the animal and costly for the owner, but it does usually reward you with a healthy dog if the disease is discovered early enough."
Annual blood testing by your veterinarian and prevention medication will ward off heartworms. The testing covers two types of heartworms immature worms and adult worms. Your veterinarian will recommend the most appropriate preventive drugs for your dog or cat pills, drops or chewables. As a bonus, some heartworm-prevention drugs also kill several types of intestinal worms or ward off fleas.
Dogs particularly outdoor dogs who do not regularly take heartworm medicine are at risk. The best time to start testing and preventive medicine is when your pet is a puppy or kitten.
In 2004, 8 percent of the shelter dogs made available for adoption tested positive for heartworms. Many were adopted by families and treated by their family veterinary clinic. Others were cured, thanks to Max's Special Fund.
Tag No. 97615 He's got loads of personality! Little Brother is a "Morris" look-alike who is about 10 months old, already neutered, vaccinated and microchipped. If you are looking for a talkative orange and white cat, make Little Brother a part of your family.
Tag No. 96991 Just 14 months old, this large cattle dog/hound mix is an active guy who needs a family to entertain him. A rambunctious teenager, Miles will do well in an obedience training classes. Miles will be happy if you keep him busy.
These animals may have found homes. The Hawaiian Humane Society and McInerny Dog Park at 2700 Wai'alae Ave. are open weekdays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., weekends and holidays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. To see more pets available for adoption, see www.hawaiianhumane.org or call 946-2187.
PETS ON THE NET: AN ONLINE COMMUNITY
Our new Web feature, Pet Project, is for people who love their dogs, cats and other animals so much they want to show them off to everyone. At Pet Project, you can submit a photo of your pet, read the latest news about pets, learn about new books on pets or join a discussion group with other pet owners in the community. Go to www.honoluluadvertiser.com and click on the link to be a part of our Pet Project.