Americans love their pets. We treat them as members of the family, friends, children. Why 63% of dog owners and 58% of cat people (because we all know cats own people and not the other way around) give their pets gifts during the holiday season. That?s because we want our animals to be happy, and a big part of their happiness is their health.
It’s estimated that Americans own 70 to 80 million dogs and between 74 and 96 million cats. Like I said, we love our pets. And we take care of them the way we would any member of our family (sometimes better). That?s why you want to make sure your pet is getting regular visits to the vet to prevent problems before they arise.
Dogs and Heartworm
Yearly, one million dogs are estimated to test positive for the heartworm antigen in the United States. If your dog presents with the heartworm antigen, treatments can cost up to $1,000 ? that makes giving a your dog a monthly preventive a deal in comparison.
Dogs infected with the heartworm antigen may have 30 or more worms in their heart and lungs, the severity of heartworm disease in dogs is related to the number of worms. So even if your dog does test positive for the heartworm antigen, just a few worms are not as dangerous as they would be to a cat ? just one or two worms can make a cat very, very sick.
You want to get your dog in for veterinary diagnostics as soon as possible to prevent problems. Puppies younger than seven months can be started on heartworm prevention without the use of a canine heartworm antigen test kit ? it takes a minimum of six months for a dog to test positive after it has been infected ? but your puppy should be tested six months after that first visit, again six months after that, and tested yearly the rest of their life to ensure that they are heartworm free.
So take your pet in for regular tests. Left untreated, heartworm can cause a very serious infection that can lead to death, but let?s not even think about that. You wouldn?t let your kids have a potentially life threatening disease. You?d get them checked out; do the same for your pet. If you haven?t had your pet tested, make a veterinary appointment today.