Mero’s story starts four years ago when he was rescued from a native reserve near Hamilton . He appeared young and healthy, but a quick blood test showed he was positive for heartworm. This is a common diagnosis in dogs from that area who spend their days outside.
Heartworms are transmitted during warm weather by mosquitoes who feed on infected pets. Adult worms are 6-14 inches long and live in and around the heart. Dogs with severe heartworm disease experience coughing, weight loss, and in severe cases, collapse and death. X-rays showed Mero’s heartworm disease was in the early stages, so he would not need surgery and treatment was started right away.
Standard heartworm treatment consisted of a strict regimen of antibiotics, steroids, parasiticides, and a series of painful and expensive deep muscle injections. For over 6 months, he had to be on strict cage rest to help prevent the life-threatening heart and lung complications caused by the treatment itself.
Today, Mero is a healthy, active dog who is happy to have the trials of heartworm disease behind him. After everything he has gone through, he and his friends at the Markham Veterinary Clinic are big advocates for heartworm prevention, as the cost and consequences of heartworm disease are so severe.
All of Mero’s friends at Markham Veterinary Clinic look forward to seeing him live a long, happy, healthy, care-free life!
Written by Dr. Cathy Leung