Again, as I write Maxon sits beside me on the arm of the chair and Maya is at my feet. Bee is always much more elusive, never a cuddler. Who knows where she is? Hopefully, making sure the mouse that made a nest in our basement this winter and was relocated to the great outdoors does not return…
Yes, spring has sprung! Or is it summer? I managed to sneak a couple hours outside in the garden this weekend while the girls were playing in the sandbox. I thought of all the people I know who are somewhere “warm” right now- Mexico, Florida and the likes and how they are missing: the robins, the maple syrup, the bulbs poking out from under a bed of leaf mulch and all the wonders of spring. I suppose you wouldn’t appreciate it if you hadn’t lived through the winter though….
Sounds romantic doesn’t it? Well, apart from the dozen mosquito bites we all came in with, it was lovely. Mosquitoes? March? Seriously? And they were HUNGRY! Poor Maya, her blood must be delicious to the little suckers because she got devoured. I wondered, could any of these mosquitoes be carrying heartworm? It is early in the season yet. She has not had her yearly checkup yet. Last summer was busy- with a toddler and baby in tow, my sister’s wedding, and all life’s craziness, we missed a dose of heartworm medication and were behind on another one week.
My life is not special. I am busy just like everybody else. Life happens; I know. Confession: I am a veterinarian and I missed a heartworm dose. The truth is out. Hey, it’s ok, it happens. If it happens to me, it must happen to others. Right? I know it does. Every year, I have clients (those who are honest enough) that say: “ hey doc, it’s ok, I don’t need any medication this year. I have medication leftover from previous year that I can use.”
I’m ok with that. In a perfect world it would never happen, but I live in the real world. The thing is: you want to make sure to test, before you treat. That heartworm medication is meant as a preventive; not as a treatment. Depending on the medication your pet was on, treating without test results, could be dangerous.
I am not into fear mongering but I believe in educating clients, heartworm exists. Please discuss yearly testing with your veterinarian to protect your pet. He or she will be more than happy to discuss prevention options to suit your needs as well.