Leigh’s Lost and Found: The one test dog owners need to get at their next vet check up

Published: Sep. 8, 2022 at 4:19 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - In today’s Leigh’s Lost and Found, a warning from a foster family to always get one particular test done on your dog.

The Coburn family is fostering Sweetie for a local rescue and it hasn’t been easy since they found out she has a potentially deadly condition.

Sweetie would love to play with the other dogs in the Coburn household, but she can’t.

Abigail Coburn tells us, “we took her to her annual vet check up and they always do a heartworm test as part of the annual procedures, it’s a simple blood test. And they called us about two hours later and said she was positive for heartworms.”

The diagnosis was devastating because heartworms can be fatal to dogs. The treatment isn’t easy on them either.

Abigail says, “Sweetie has to go through one month of antibiotics and then three months of treatment. She can’t accelerate her heartbeat. That means no running, no jumping. She’s basically on crate rest. She can’t play with other dogs. She can’t do anything other than go outside and eat and stay in her crate.”

For a Heeler with a lot of energy, that’s tough to do. Even when she is allowed outside, Sweetie has to be on a leash and constantly monitored.

“It’s extremely hard. She hates it. But if she doesn’t stay in her crate, she could possibly throw a clot in her heart and that’s deadly.”

That’s why Abigail always pushes dog owners to pay for a heartworm test and heartworm prevention meds. It’s a lot less expensive and a lot easier on the dog, in the long run.

“Heartworm treatment is offered at every single vet clinic. There are options. It’s not super hard but it could save your dog’s life.”

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