Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Save a life. Please use heartworm preventative

Our family dog, Blackie, was very old when he died. He had heartworm disease. At the time, they were just developing a preventative and for treatment, they used arsenic. Bigfoot, another family dog had to go through the treatment when we first began using preventative. It was not easy for him, but he was a young dog and he came through the treatment with no problems. He was also a well-kept dog with plenty to eat and drink and a family to love him.
Neglected dogs who are heartworm positive have a much rougher time. Many times they are skinny to the point of emaciation and they cannot handle the poisons given to kill the worms. Then as the body is dispelling the dead worm, they stand a chance of blog clots which can kill quickly.
The following item was published after Satchel's lost one of the sweetest dogs. Her name was Diamond.


Do you know her? Perhaps you have seen her tied to a tree in your neighbor's yard. You would be able to recognize her. Her teats hang low because she had a couple of litters of puppies before she was 18 months old. They all died.
She is skinny because she has never been fed enough and her coat is dull. She is covered with fleas and ticks and doesn't have enough meat on her bones to support herself, much less a litter of pups.
She has never seen a vet, has every known worm a vet could diagnose and yet you say nothing. You say nothing because she is just another dog. She isn't yours. You would never treat one of your pets that way. You walk by every day and see her, laying in the dirt with a sad expression in her brown eyes.
Well, she died today. She died, not because no one said anything. She died because no one said anything soon enough. You see, she had the nastiest kind of worm; heartworm.
She was rescued several months ago from abysmal conditions in north Florida. She was stick thin and had just had a litter of puppies. She was high positive for heartworm. So we took her in and loved her.
She had the most gentle of dispositions, despite her luck in life and she was nursed back to health by very dedicated and caring people. Her name was Diamond. A diamond in the rough if you will and I loved her. She was so scared when I first met her and it took several visits for her tail to begin to wag when she saw me. She was hand shy and always scared she was going to be hit, but she only knew gentleness by our hands.
She was treated for heartworm and we thought the worst was past. We are admonished by people who know, to not exert dogs after heartworm treatment. Short walks, no excitement, and a calm environment. Diamond made it past that. The problem was the micro filariasis, which are the dead worm larvae. They can cause embolisms or simply shock when they are passing through the blood system and the dog can die.
So, despite all the love and care in the world, Diamond died today. Did you know her?

Footnote: Please use heartworm preventative and educate those who you know who do not. There is no reason any dog should die from this disease except for irresponsible people who simply don't give a damn about the animals.

If this touches you and you use heartworm preventative on your animals, please consider educating others of this disease. Contribute to organizations which help needy families with the cost of these medicines. Fairy Tail Endings is a great one to donate to. Or buy some from your vet and donate it to the vet so he can dispense it to one of his needy clients. Donate cash to your favorite rescue and tag it for heartworm preventative for one of their homeless pets. Please help save a life. Heartworms kill dogs in Florida every day. Mosquitoes are the carrier and we all know we have plenty of those here. No dog is safe because it only takes one mosquito bite. Dogs are euthanized in animal agencies because they are positive and there is no money to treat them. Please do what you can. 

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