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Unread 10-10-2009, 06:02 PM
 
37 posts, read 78,217 times
Reputation: 19
Default How serious is heart worm to dogs living in Hawaii?

While preparing our dogs for the direct release program, a vet-tech who lived in Honolulu previously highly recommended getting our dogs on heart worm medication because she said it is a major killer of dogs on the island. Should I take her seriously and spend the cash on medication or is she just trying to get us to spend money? We will be arriving in Maui on October 31st so we would like to get them started right away if she is right. Thanks everyone.
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Unread 10-10-2009, 06:27 PM
 
Location: Molokai, HI
229 posts, read 493,851 times
Reputation: 196
She is not scamming you. Heartworm is everywhere and is spread by mosquitoes, so all dogs are at risk, even if they don't have contact with other dogs. If you haven't treated to prevent heartworm before, they will want to do a blood test first to make sure your dog doesn't have it already. The results only take a couple of days, and then you can give the medicine.

Do it. You never want to watch your dog die from heartworm. It's horrible.

more info: Heartworm Disease and Your Pet | The Honolulu Advertiser | Hawaii's Newspaper
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Unread 10-10-2009, 08:28 PM
 
8,964 posts, read 5,709,106 times
Reputation: 5022
heartworm is everywhere and your dog should be on meds even on the mainland. trying to get one healthy when it gets heartworm is a hrad and expensive thing. get the meds to avoid it all together
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Unread 10-10-2009, 09:14 PM
 
Location: Molokai, HI
229 posts, read 493,851 times
Reputation: 196
A quick search of 1800Petmeds shows that the generic version of HeartGard will cost you about $6 a month for a large dog. Probably less for a smaller breed. You'll pay more for that than that for a plate lunch.
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Unread 10-10-2009, 10:14 PM
 
Location: Moku Nui, Hawaii
5,216 posts, read 8,047,773 times
Reputation: 2441
I've heard you can use sheep worming medicine to kill heartworms in dogs if you can't afford the veterinary procedure, but it is risky and the dog could die anyway.

Why don't people seem to get heartworm? We get mosquito bit just as much as the dogs do.
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Unread 10-10-2009, 11:42 PM
 
Location: Molokai, HI
229 posts, read 493,851 times
Reputation: 196
Good question, 'Catz. As a retired librarian, I had to look it up. ;-) I always just figured that our bodies aren't as hospitable to the larvae as dog bodies are. Turns out, we can get it, very rarely, but the worm tends to settle in our lungs. (ew) More here: What are heartworms, and can I catch them from my dog?

Something else to consider is that Ivermectin, the medicine in HeartGard, will also prevent many of the gut parasites of dogs which are transmissible to humans.
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Unread 10-11-2009, 01:12 AM
 
Location: Hawaii-Puna District
2,913 posts, read 4,824,144 times
Reputation: 1438
As a former manager I had used to say... "It's as serious as a heart attack." Get the dog on the meds!
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