At first glance, Beyonce looks like a perfectly healthy Great Dane. Her heart and lungs, however, tell a completely different story. Without treatment, Beyonce would not have survived for much longer. Heartworms have been making each breath difficult for her, and her heart can’t take strenuous activity.
Each dog that comes into our care receives a heartworm test. Unfortunately, quite a few of those dogs test positive for heartworm, and we ensure we are giving the treatment that they need. Due to Beyonce’s size and the severity of her condition, we knew her treatment was going to be more serious than usual.
Heartworms are a parasite that spread and grow inside of a dog’s heart, affecting the function of both the heart and the lungs. At 84 pounds, Beyonce has a big heart, which means bigger parasites and a bigger risk of complications during treatment. Heartworm may be treatable, but it is still a serious, potentially life-threatening condition.
Beyonce is not alone. According to the American Heartworm Society, over ONE MILLION pets are believed to be heartworm positive at one time in the U.S. (which is why preventatives are so important), and dogs are more likely to contract it if they’re in an environment with many mosquitos… you guessed it: that includes Houston.
It costs only $25 for a heartworm test at our clinic, and $5-10 per month for a preventative that stops this deadly disease before it can ever touch a dog’s heart or lungs. Once a dog is heartworm positive, however, treatment jumps up to an average of $400-500 (Beyonce’s treatment costs about $700 because of her size and the severity of her case). We see a number of heartworm positive dogs here at HPA!, and to treat them all adds up.
Will you help Beyonce heal, along with the countless other heartworm positive dogs and cats who will come after her?
P.S. If you have a pup or kitty of your own, check and make sure they’re up to date on their heartworm prevention today!