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May 25, 2023

Does Your Dog Have Heart Worms?

And while we now have a better idea of what foods we can mix and cook for our dogs, there is also another serious health concern that dog owners might want to pay keener attention to, if you want to have your dog until its twilight years. Veterinary Surgeon, Doctor Jane Crawford says that there has been a spike in the number of heartworm detections among the dogs that visit the Animal Medical Centre. Crawford says the vets think it’s because dog owners are not administering the heartworm preventative pills every month to their pets.


Jane Crawford

Dr. Jane Crawford, Veterinary Surgeon, Animal Medical Centre

“Right now we’re seeing a lot more cases with heartworm disease in dogs, and I think one of the reasons we’re attributing to is because of the rise of the use of the NexGuard tablet. So a lot of people are giving the NexGuard and they stop giving the HeartGuard, or they’re giving the heartworm preventative. A lot of people have been saying you give the HeartWorm or the NexGuard every three months, you give a HeartWorm every three months, but HeartWorm prevention needs to be administered on a monthly basis. Every month, and next guard does not include that treatment as well, the next guard by itself. But you have the next guard spectra, which includes the heartworm prevention. So if you’re doing the next guard spectra, you have to give it every month. If you’re doing the next guard and heart guard, you have to give the heart guard every month, or it doesn’t necessarily have to be heart guard, it can be any other, um, heartworm prevention. But a heartworm prevention has to be given on a monthly basis. It’s a bite from the mosquito. So the mosquito transmitted. So one dog has it, the mosquito bites that dog and they go transmit it to another dog. But so the transmission occurs all the time, but once you give the prevention, it kills the larva before you reaches to the adult stage.”


Marion Ali

“Can you start the treatment at any age?”


Dr. Jane Crawford

“Preferably, no. You want to start between four to six months of age. If your dog, if you have an older dog and you’re not sure, you can test to make sure they don’t have it already. But, I mean, you can start it, but there will be reaction. If the animal already has heartworms, there will be reactions. And they could start to cough and they have different stuff.”


Crawford advises that before you start a heartworm treatment, it is prudent to have the dog tested to ensure they don’t yet have heartworms. If they don’t yet, it is imperative that the pills are administered each month without fail. If, however, the test shows that your dog already has heartworms, there are special types of treatments that the vet can offer to extend your dog’s life span. The vet also said there are different brands and prices of heartworm medication that dog owners can ask for, depending on their budget.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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