Let’s talk about heartworms!

Let’s talk about heartworms!
June 2, 2022 Noah's Ark Animal Shelter
In News

It is not uncommon for Noah’s Ark to have heartworm positive dogs available for adoption. Texas is in the top 5 most numbers of heartworm positive dogs in the USA. We want to make sure we make information regarding heartworms easily accessible to the community. Those who adopt a heartworm positive dog, and for the community to be educated on the prevention of heartworms as well. This information can be found on the AAHA website- https://www.aaha.org/ and also from veterinary partner- https://veterinarypartner.vin.com/default.aspx?pid=19239&id

Both of these websites have educational information that can be beneficial to the community for a number of reasons and are credible sources.

Heartworms are 100% PREVENTABLE! Did you know that? Did you know your dog needs to be on heartworm prevention EVERY 30 days for life? Call your veterinarian and ask how to get started asap if your pet is not on prevention currently and they would love to educate and point you and your pet in the right direction!

AAHA Booklet on informative information on heartworms: https://www.aaha.org/globalassets/05-pet-health-resources/ceva_heartwormbooklet.pdf

Veterinary partner slow kill vs fast kill: https://veterinarypartner.vin.com/default.aspx?pid=19239&id=4951486

Please read these informative hand outs and if any questions at all contact your local veterinarian!

At Noah’s Ark, we test for heartworms on every dog over the age of 6 months. We send their results in their medicals when adopted, and highly recommend RETESTING in 6 months from the first test. Heartworms have a 6 month incubation before the adult worm can be detected in the test. At Noah’s Ark we also start the dogs immediately on Doxycycline once diagnosing heartworm disease. This is an antibiotic that kills wolbachia- bacteria caused from microfilaria. This is the first step in treatment for heartworms whether you decide to do the slow kill or the fast kill treatment. We will give the dog the doxycycline twice daily while in our care. It needs to be given for 30 days consecutively, so if they are adopted before finishing their script get them to the vet as quickly as you can to continue the medication. Legally we are not allowed to send the medication home with you to give, we can only give it while they are our property in our care. This is a large cost to us, but we do strive to do the best by the animals while they are in our care because they deserve it. We also send a voucher that covers the first exam to have them examined by a local veterinarian. That way you can bring their medical and discuss any questions or concerns with them and establish a client/patient relationship. While in the first stages of heartworm treatment, regardless of slow kill or fast kill, it is important to remember that the dog needs to be kept quiet. In the first stages of treatment you do not want to heavily exercise or exert them risking a reaction of killing off the bacteria or microfilaria. It is recommended for at least the first 30 days of treatment to keep them from high energy activities.

With all of that being said, remember…. heartworm positive dogs need love too!!! When they come into our care heartworm positive, all it means is that their previous owner did not care for them the way you can. Please give them a chance.

A lot of people are scared of heartworms and will deter from adopting a heartworm positive dog. Please do your research before not adopting a heartworm positive dog! It is 2022 and there is a lot of research out there and talented doctors that would love to talk heartworms with you!heartwormblogposter