Bat­tling heart­worm dis­ease

Texarkana Gazette - - SOCIETY/ADVICE - Heloise Ad­vice King Fea­tures Syn­di­cate

Dear Read­ers: “Heart­worms”—the word it­self is scary, but pre­ven­tion and treat­ment are pos­si­ble. Heart­worm dis­ease can re­sult in lung dam­age and heart fail­ure in dogs and cats. Symp­toms? Cough­ing, tired­ness, trou­ble breath­ing and weight loss.

Pre­ven­tion of heart­worm is the cheaper, safer al­ter­na­tive to treat­ment. If you adopt a dog or cat from the shel­ter, have the an­i­mal tested for heart­worm; lots of stray an­i­mals con­tract heart­worm. The worms are spread through the bite of a mosquito.

Pre­ven­tion is ei­ther a shot that’s good for sev­eral months, a top­i­cal liq­uid ap­plied to the skin or a monthly chew. Talk to your vet­eri­nar­ian about what’s best for your pet.

Treat­ment is ef­fec­tive but painful and ex­pen­sive. Your vet will give a se­ries of tests first to make sure your pet is healthy enough to start treat­ment. Mul­ti­ple

doc­tor vis­its likely will be re­quired.

Peo­ple can­not con­tract heart­worm dis­ease. The worms don’t es­tab­lish them­selves in hu­man hearts.

For more in­for­ma­tion, visit heart­worm­so­ci­ety.org.—Heloise

PET PAL

Dear Read­ers: Gail K. adopted Twis­ter al­most five years ago. His mommy was res­cued from a puppy mill. He loves ev­ery­one, even the vet­eri­nar­ian, and greets even strangers with a big smile! To see Twis­ter and our other Pet Pals, visit Heloise.com and click on “Pet of the Week.”—Heloise

ONLINE OR­DER­ING Dear Heloise: When or­der­ing online, it’s im­por­tant to check the com­pany’s re­turn pol­icy. We ne­glected to do that re­cently, and even though the com­pany sent the wrong size, we were not only re­spon­si­ble for re­turn ship­ping, but the com­pany has a 20 per­cent re­stock­ing fee. It was an ex­pen­sive les­son to learn.— Janet B., via email

Call and speak to a rep­re­sen­ta­tive or su­per­vi­sor. They should be will­ing to work with you to re­solve the is­sue.—Heloise

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