Are you certain that your dog is protected from heartworm this season?
Although heartworm prevention techniques, including mosquito avoidance and drugs that kill heartworm larvae, have been recommended for years, the number of dogs diagnosed with heartworm continues to increase. One factor that contributes to the persistence of this preventable disease is “prophylactic failure,” which means that animals develop the disease even though they received a prophylactic drug to prevent heartworm for at least 1 year or season.
An extensive retrospective study by the University of Georgia analyzes causes of death for dozens of dog breeds.
The scientists looked at data from nearly 75,000 dogs whose deaths were recorded in the Veterinary Medical Database (VMDB) between 1984 and 2004. They categorized the deaths by organ system and pathophysiologic process, and hypothesized that these could be segregated by age, breed and body mass.
Pets age at a much faster rate than people. So when you think about how important it is for us to be seen regularly by a doctor, it’s even more important for our pets—especially if they are on medication. Pets age five to seven times faster than we do. This makes having your pet examined at least once a year or more frequently before having prescriptions refilled the logical and right thing to do.
Like most veterinarians, Cindy Houlihan talks to the animals that visit her hospital, The Cat Practice, in suburban Detroit. But Dr. Houlihan goes one step further. To make her patients less fearful, she explains each procedure to them. “I’m going to draw blood and as soon as we’re done, you’ll be able to go home,” she tells a patient. “I know you won’t like it, but if you lay still, I won’t have to start over and we’ll get you home faster.”