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Posts Tagged ‘heartworm’

It Pays to Test:
Why your Dog Needs an Annual Heartworm Check-up

Spring, summer, winter or fall — your pets need year-round prevention to keep them free of deadly heartworms and other parasites. While an annual heartworm check-up at Little Creek Veterinary Clinic is one of the best moves you can make as a responsible pet owner, it’s helpful to understand why heartworm testing and examinations are important.

My dog was just tested for heartworm a year ago. Why does he need a test again so soon?

Your dog should have a heartworm test once a year to determine if he became infected with heartworms during the previous season. It takes months before a dog with heartworm will test positive on a heartworm test, so testing annually — usually at the time the prescription for his heartworm medication is being renewed — makes sense. As with many diseases, the earlier heartworm can be diagnosed, the better the chances he will recover. If heartworm disease in a dog goes undetected and untreated, the worms can cause progressive and potentially fatal damage to his arteries, heart and lungs.

If my dog is on continuous heartworm prevention, why does he need to be tested?

That’s a logical question if you’re a responsible owner who keeps your dog on heartworm prevention year-round. The reason for annual testing of dogs in this case is to ensure his prevention program is working. Heartworm medications are highly effective, but dogs can still become infected.

Why? A common reason is simple forgetfulness. Missing just one dose of a monthly medication — or giving it late — can leave a dog unprotected. Even if you do everything right and on time, it’s no guarantee. Some dogs spit out their heartworm pills when their owners aren’t looking. Others may vomit their pills or rub off a topical heartworm medication. Whatever the cause of missing or delaying a dose, any of these mishaps can put your dog at risk of heartworm infection.

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What else do I need to know about heartworms, testing, and prevention?

  1. Heartworm disease is easier to prevent than to treat. Prevention is a simple, once-a-month chewable treat or topical application plus an annual blood test. Treatment includes blood tests and Xrays or ultrasound; a course of antibiotics; a series of painful medication injections deep into the pet’s muscles near the spine; and strict confinement for a month. Treatment can pose its own set of health risks. And treating heartworm disease can cost more than 15 times the amount of a year’s worth of prevention. 
  2. Heartworms are spread by mosquitoes. There are 22 different mosquito species in the U.S. that carry heartworm, and they are active at different times of the day and year.
  3. A heartworm test requires just a few drops of blood, and you will receive the results of your dog’s test during the vet visit.
  4. If your pet develops heartworm disease while taking its preventative medication, the medication’s manufacturer may want to see proof of annual testing before they pay for your pet’s treatment.

Remember, the best offense against heartworm disease is a good defense.
Follow American Heartworm Society recommendations and Think 12 — give heartworm preventatives 12 months a year and test your dog every 12 months.

This article adapted from “It Pays to Test: Why Your Dog Needs an Annual Heartworm Check-up” by the American Heartworm Society.

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The days are speeding by — just ask anyone of school-age. Autumn will be upon us soon, and your pet may have missed getting its summertime check-up and vaccine boosters.

Of special concern are those pets whose heartworm preventative medication has run out. The height of mosquito season is the wrong time to be without protection, according to Dr. Donald Miele, a Norfolk veterinarian. 

Contact Us today by calling 757-583-2619 to schedule your pet’s appointment. We’ll help you get your pet ready for the hectic back-to-school / back-to-back-holidays season.

 

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Hello! If you’re familiar with my normal posting schedule, you know that I normally post to Facebook on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and save Tuesday & Thursday for blog posts. Today, I’m switching it up a bit, because, despite being a megacompany worth over $200 billion, Facebook is a mis-managed disaster today. I say that because I’ve spent the past hour attempting to post two items to our business page, and Facebook’s “Publish” button refuses to cooperate!

 

So I now present the Monday “Facebook” posts:

It’s a tie for Sweethearts of the Day:
best buddies Bella and Bentley E.
Lookin’ good, too!

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It’s tough to spot the signs of heartworm disease!
Left untreated, heartworm disease
is dangerous for a pet!
Let’s do a simple heartworm test
during your pet’s yearly checkup.
Schedule your pet’s annual exam today
to keep them healthy!
Call us at 757-583-2619.

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Little Creek Veterinary Clinic is pleased to announce that it has expanded its flea, tick, and heartworm treatment offerings, via a new in-clinic online pharmacy.

Now, when your pet visits our doctor, we can order non-stock* products — such as Advantage Multi, Bravecto, Sentinel Spectrum, Trifexis, and more — and have them shipped to your door.

*Non-stock items are products that we do not carry in-clinic.

We still carry popular items in our clinic, such as Seresto collars, Advantage II, and HeartGard.

And now, our clients who prefer a different brand of flea or heartworm preventative will no longer need to research pharmacies and place orders themselves. In-clinic ordering is faster, more accurate, and more convenient for you!

Interested in learning more? Contact Us today!

Est. 1973

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Need a few scientific reasons to keep your pet on
year-round heartworm preventative?

Then check out this infographic by the American Heartworm Society:

HW 2 (764x735)

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Still not convinced? Take a look at this:

Heartworm_Close_Up

Those are worms inside a dog’s heart. Heartworm is preventable,
with a simple once-a-month dose of heartworm preventative.
Contact Us to get your pet started today.

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Sentinel Spectrum now available by special order
nvsentinelspectrum (250x250)Looking to upgrade your dog’s heartworm preventative?
Ask us about Sentinel Spectrum – the once-a-month chewable that protects against heartworms, whipworms, hookworms, roundworms, and tapeworms, while preventing a flea takeover of your house.

If your dog is a current patient at Little Creek Veterinary Clinic and is up-to-date on its heartworm blood test and preventative medicine*, making the switch is easy: just call us and tell us you’d like to order Sentinel Spectrum.
*Some pets may need a check-up and heartworm blood test before beginning Sentinel Spectrum.

Did You Know?
Labrador Retrievers have been the most popular dog in the U.S. for 24 years, according to the American Kennel Club. The breed originated in Newfoundland, Canada, and has been recognized by the AKC since 1917. 

Events Around Town

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June 5,6,7,12,13,14th: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels: The Musical at the Little Theatre of Norfolk. Get your tickets today for this hilarious romp based on the 1988 movie starring Steve Martin and Michael Caine. Order online at ltnonline.org.

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Saturday, June 13th:  JazzBoy Memorial Dog Parade at Mt. Trashmore in Virginia Beach, to raise funds for TeenAIDS. Space is limited; $20 per dog. Parade begins at noon. Register online teenaids.org.

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Saturday, June 13th: The Catholic Arts Commission presents “Sister’s Summer School Catechism: God Never Takes A Vacation” to raise funds for local charities and Virginia Musical Theater. At Sandler Center in Virginia Beach, a one-night-only special performance. Tickets are $25 at CatholicArtsCommission.com.

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New poster 2

If you’ve lived in Hampton Roads for very long, you know that mosquitoes are here to stay.  Unfortunately, these pests can carry deadly heartworm disease, which affects dogs and cats.

As the name suggests, heartworms live in the heart, but they can also migrate to the lungs and brain.  While a dog can carry a burden of numerous heartworms before dying, a cat can have a deadly reaction to the presence of a single worm. 

And treatment for heartworm disease is not as short and sweet as it is for intestinal worms.  Ongoing treatment for heartworm disease can last up to 6 months, requires total cage rest for the entire treatment period, and – perhaps scariest of all – involves the use of an arsenic-based drug.  If your pet’s doctor has been harping on the issue of heartworm prevention, now you know why.

The Heartworm Life Cycle

  1. A mosquito bites a heartworm-infected dog and ingests tiny heartworm larvae along with the animal’s blood.  (Wolves, foxes, and coyotes can also carry the disease.)
  2. Inside the mosquito, these larvae develop into their infective stage.
  3. When the same mosquito bites another dog (or a cat), the larvae infect the healthy animal.
  4. Without a monthly dose of preventative, the larvae continue to develop inside the dog or cat, eventually reaching the heart and lungs.

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Information for this article was borrowed from the Merial publication “Protector,” Summer 2010 issue.

This article originally appeared on April 4, 2011.

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