« If I Had Known »

Robert Dumont

By Dr. Robert Dumont
Veterinary
Samson Veterinary Clinic

March 30, 2016 – Losing an animal following an illness can be very painful. Even more so if his owner did not see fit to have it undergo medical examinations, which could (in some cases) prevent premature death.

I will always remember that customer who one day came to see me with his eight-year-old Labrador. It was a very good dog with an exemplary behavior. The animal had no more energy and showed a certain apathy. After examining it and carrying out tests, I found that the dog was suffering from prostate cancer.

If it had been castrated at a young age, today, I dare say that I would not even mention it. Careworn and saddened at the thought of possibly losing his dog, the master cried out, looking at me: « If I had known! »

Make Sure your Animal is Healthy

The primary objective of a veterinarian is to make sure your animal is healthy. In this regard, with the arrival of spring, dog owners will have to show more vigilance. You should know that during the summer, the heart worm is to watch closely.

It concerns mostly canines which mosquitoes have infested with heart worms. When biting an animal that carries larvae, a mosquito will ingest some. When biting another dog to gorge itself with blood, it will then transmit larvae to it that could migrate to the heart, where they will complete their growth. You should know that an adult worm can measure between 15 and 25 centimeters.

How to Prevent Disease

A great number of worms in a dog’s body will obstruct his cardiac arteries. The heart would then have to pump harder, which could lead to a potentially fatal heart disease. A medicine taken once a month between June and November can prevent this disease. This topical or oral treatment will certainly kill the larvae that have infested the dog in the previous month. An annual test will follow this preventive measure.

The animals that go outside should receive such preventive treatment. According to relatively recent data, the Lower Laurentians region would be the place (in Quebec) with the most cases of heart worms since its appearance in 1980.

Let me point out that the heart worm is not easy to detect. Among the symptoms associated with it, an animal will develop an intolerance to exercise and will cough persistently. In any case, you’d better choose prevention. We can cure this disease, but the conditions of the treatment must be optimal. You should know that if the animal is already suffering from the heart worm disease, the risk of complications inherent to the treatment will be even higher.

Cute dog isolated on white background

Without a doubt, this disease must be eradicated in time, otherwise, the damages caused by the heart worm will be irreversible. Such a scenario is possible, at least to all those who wish to maintain healthy their life companions, and offer them the quality of life they deserve.

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