Heartworm explainedHeartworm is in our top three of most common diseases we encounter in our daily work. It is a disease that will slowly kill your pet.

What frustrates us the most is that it can easily be prevented, but that so many pets are still suffering. You won’t even notice the heartworm infection until it’s in an advanced stage. And by that time it will be a long and expensive treatment with a lot of risks for the animal.

In Curaçao, you will have a 99% guarantee that your dog will get infected with heartworm if left untreated.

Real Life Case Study

Pancho was one of our many CARFIES that suffered from heartworm. Pancho was a sweet dog that came to us with tick fever, heartworm, liver failure, and a paralyzed leg.

Even with all his issues, Pancho was always happy to cuddle and guarded his foster’s home like no other.

Pancho had been bitten by a mosquito carrying the heartworm larvae. The larvae traveled to his heart where they nestled and fed on the blood flowing through the heart. The early stages happened unnoticed.

Then, as Pancho’s heart began to fill with worms he started coughing occasionally. When Pancho arrived at his foster home, his foster noticed that his tongue would turn blue after a big meal or that he would sit down to rest while eating. When his foster would play fetch with him and the other dogs, Pacho would soon lag behind, give up, and sit down and pant.

Eventually, Pancho was healthy enough for treatment (taking his other ails into consideration). The vet gave him an injection in his muscle next to his spine. This made Pancho very unwell that evening. Pancho needed to be restricted from exercise and remain in a cool area during treatment. After a month, he had to go back for the same injection, followed by another one the next day.  Not only is this a painful treatment and an even more painful disease, it is a costly one!

Poor Pancho passed away during an operation on his leg due to his enlarged heart from the heartworms.

Preventing is better than curing 

Protect your dog from getting heartworm. It’s so easy! Heartgard is a chewable, palatable pill sold in Curaçao, and can be found at various pet shops and at all veterinary practices, including Claus Clinic. One pill a month will save your dog from a slow death. You’ll need to start giving your pup Heartgard as soon as they are 6 months old. Never start your dog on heartworm prevention without checking  if your dog is infected with heartworm.