HAVE A HEART
COMPASSION FOR HEARTWORM POSITIVE PETS
Hundreds of thousands of animals contract heartworm disease every year. If left untreated, heartworm disease is fatal.
The goal of the "Have a Heart" campaign is to raise money for the heartworm positive animals that ALIVE Rescue saves, improve general awareness of what heartworm disease is, and increase the number of pet parents investing in heartworm prevention for their fur-babies.
ALIVE Rescue covers the treatment costs for all dogs who test positive for heartworm disease while in our care until treatment is completed.
Aside from that, there are a couple key points we want to get across through this campaign:
Heartworm disease is preventable
If caught early enough, heartworm disease is treatable (for dogs)
Heartworm treatment can be expensive, making prevention extremely important and cost effective
Heartworm prevention is often perceived as too expensive as an additional animal care cost (particularly in under-served communities)
Heartworm is not contagious by contact (it has to be transmitted through infected mosquitoes)
Heartworm positive animals deserve forever homes too!
HEARTWORM FACTS AND EDUCATION
WHAT IS HEARTWORM DISEASE?
"Heartworm disease is a serious disease that results in severe lung disease, heart failure, other organ damage, and death in pets, mainly dogs, cats, and ferrets. It is caused by a parasitic worm called Dirofilaria immitis."
KEY HEARTWORM DISEASE EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES
IS HEARTWORM TREATMENT THE SAME FOR CATS AND DOGS?
HOW IS HEARTWORM DISEASE DETECTED?
"A veterinarian uses blood tests to check a dog for heartworms. An antigen test detects specific heartworm proteins, called antigens, which are released by adult female heartworms into the dog’s bloodstream. In most cases, antigen tests can accurately detect infections with one or more adult female heartworms. The earliest that the heartworm proteins can be detected in a dog’s bloodstream is about 5 months after it is bitten by an infected mosquito." Meaning a negative heartworm test DOES NOT MEAN your pet has not been infected - there is a lag in detection.
"The medication used to treat heartworm infections in dogs cannot be used in cats, so prevention is the only means of protecting cats from the effects of heartworm disease."
WHAT TREATMENT IS AVAILABLE FOR HEARTWORM DISEASE?
There are many different medications that your veterinarian may pursue to treat heartworm disease in your pet. Click here to see a table comparing different medication options from Veterinary Partner.