Battling heartworm disease
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
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