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Heartworm Awareness month - EXTENDED through May 31st, 2020!

Happy May! We hope this post finds you and your loved ones (including those fur babies!) in good health! During these times of uncertainty, we wanted to check in with you all and remind everyone that April is typically HEARTWORM AWARENESS MONTH, but with all the craziness with COVID-19 we have decided to EXTEND the discounts on the annual heartworm tests through the month of MAY, 2020! 

Just for a review of what we are talking about when we say 'heartworms': Heartworms are blood parasites that are spread by a single mosquito bite (it could even happen during that short time your pet goes outside to use the restroom!). The mosquito releases the immature larval stage (L1) when feeding on their victim. The parasite then migrates through the tissues while maturing (L2-4) to reach the blood vessels, specifically the pulmonary (lung) vessels. Here the parasites mature (L5) and reproduce. Once these parasites have reached the pulmonary vessels and their numbers increase, they can cause massive amounts of inflammation as the animal’s immune system tries to fight it off. In severe infections, these parasites can also act as an obstruction to blood flow in both the vessels and the heart - These parasites can affect both dogs and cats alike.

The scary part of this disease is that animals are ASYMPTOMATIC (do not show any clinical signs) until they begin to show signs of heart failure secondary to the inflammation and obstructed blood flow. These signs can include: coughing (especially with exercise); inappetance; unwillingness/inability to exercise normally; syncopal episodes (passing out); abdominal distention, and sudden death. In our feline family members - the most common clinical signs is sudden death - so it is even more pertinent to PREVENT this disease in cats. This disease can be treated/cured IN DOGS (currently no treatment for cats), but runs a very high risk for those showing clinical signs. It can take up to 6 months for the treatment, and can range anywhere from $1000-2000 over that time frame.

Needless to say, it is much easier to PREVENT this disease rather than waiting for the clinical signs to occur in our pets. It's a simple blood draw to test for heartworm disease, and only takes 5 minutes to get the result (slightly longer for cats). Normally, this test runs $30 plus tax, but during the month of APRIL it is half that price at $15 plus tax. Once the test is performed, we can start your pet on a heartworm preventive. There are multiple options when it comes to preventives, and we recommend speaking with your veterinarian about which option would be best for you and your pet. Not only are the tests discounted during the month of APRIL, there are some SPECIAL RAFFLES for Starbucks gift cards and a gift basket that will be given out at the end of the month. Due to the COVID-19 and restrictions that were placed - we are extending the discounted heartworm tests until the end of May 2020.

We know that these days are filled with uncertainty, but please know that our clinic is still there for you during our normal business hours (including after hours emergencies) and will continue to be there until we are told otherwise. Things are operating a little differently, as we are more concierge service - a doctor or technician will come out to your vehicle once you are checked in and borrow your furry pet inside to perform the heartworm test. It is just as important as ever to continue this simple preventative measure.

Please do not hesitate to call with any questions or concerns you may have. Stay safe out there!


The Schumacher clan



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