April is Heartworm Prevention Month and while the month is almost over, Heartworms and the damage they do to dogs and cats everywhere is a year-round concern!

Heartworms are a serious threat to our pets that is often fatal. Heartworms when full grown can be a foot in length and they love to live in your pet’s heart, lungs and blood vessels. Heartworms are found in all 50 states, they are transmitted by mosquitos and once inside your pups they mate, produce offspring and when left untreated lead to heart disease, failure and death (see second picture of a heart infected by heartworms from a pup that didn’t make it).

Best news about Heartworms…they are 100% PREVENTABLE!

Many people opt to skip heartworm prevention due to the monthly cost which is usually between $10-$40. Simple math says we can treat our loved pets for 10 years or more for the cost of 1 heartworm treatment!

Don’t believe it can happen to your pup? You’re wrong! In 2020, we lost our beloved hound boy Cash after only 8 months due to his previous owners neglect! Then yesterday, we lost gorgeous Bluetick Coonhound, Bonnie Blue to complications of heartworms during her spay appointment. Bonnie was a stray from Giles County who tested HW positive last week. We partnered with Lewisburg Animal Alliance to treat Bonnie for Heartworms with Brandy fostering sweet Bonnie. Unfortunately for Bonnie, her previous owners neglect resulted in Bonnie’s life ending way too early…what could have costs someone around $200-$250 in medicine for 4 years instead resulted in the loss of a beautiful life…but we cannot thank Brandy enough for opening her heart and home to Bonnie so she knew love before she passed.

For dogs that are treated for heartworms successfully, they can go on to live long happy lives, but the longer heartworms live in your pet the more lasting damage they do to your pet’s vital organs. Some organs will heal, replenish and recover while others will always be affected from the scars left behind by the heartworms that once called your pet’s body home.

HERO urges you, begs, pleads, whatever you need to hear, to take your pets to their annual appointments, get them heartworm tested and on monthly prevention! If you love them, do what is best for them, get heartworm prevention!

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