Wednesday, January 5, 2005
Protecting Your Pet: Heartworms
Mosquitoes are a major problem in Florida. Hey can be deadly, even for our animals. The pests can carry heartworm. Tonight, health specialist Marilyn Mitzel shows us what you can do to "Proctect Your Pet."
WSVN-- Bruno's personality could melt anyone's heart. Unfortunately, something's eating at his. Heartworms.
Bruno's owner Sheila Green:"I was very surprised. I was upset."
Mosquitoes carry the potentially deadly parasite. They pass it to animals when they bite'em. Dogs are most vulnerable. The heartworm snakes it way into the heart grows and multiplies.
Seiler Animal Hospital's Mark Stevens:"They can do some major damage."
Unfortunately, you may not know an animal is infected until it's too late.
Bruno's owner Michael Green:"He didn't look unhealthy."
Symptoms can take years to show up.They include coughing, fatigue, rapid breathing and weight loss.
While potentially deadly, it's also highly preventable by giving animals heartworm medication.But it must be done on a regular basis. Missing just one dose is all it takes.
Sheila Green:"I was like on my god I'm such a mean mom."
Some vets even recommend it for indoor pets.
Dr.Mark Stevens:"But mosquitoes get inside too, and that's a major misconception of clients."
Tests should be done yearly to detect the disease. If caught in time, treatment is available.But it can cost hundreds of dollars compared to about 70 bucks for a years supply of preventative medicine.
Michael and Sheila Green:"Bruno's like our child. Our little baby."
The Green's advice for protecting your pet.
Michael Green:"Give them the heartworm medicine religiously."
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