Heartworm disease is PREVENTABLE!!!

This is Kevin.  Kevin had a really crappy start to his life. He was found discarded at a storage facility, emaciated and full of ticks. Blind, starving and scared, he was also positive for heartworms. 

He was brought into Mo-Kan foster care.  When he was well enough, Kevin started his heartworm treatment which consisted of a series of 3 intramuscular injections into his back muscles that kills the adult worms in his heart. Sadly, he had a lot of adult worms. Dogs feel like crap during their painful heartworm treatment and Kevin was no exception. He rallied though, and was a fighter. 

Once Kevin completed his series of shots we all breathed a tentative sigh of relief that he was through the worst. But soon afterwards, he developed a cough. Then he went into fulminant heart failure, having to be hospitalized away from his foster family at the emergency vet clinic. We received the dreaded and heartbreaking phone call that he had gone into cardiac arrest.  Kevin did not survive. It’s likely he had so much damage to his heart from the high load of heartworms that he just could not recover. He may also have had pieces of the dead and dying heartworms dislodge and go to his lungs, making it much more difficult for his heart to pump blood.

We, and other rescues, often get criticized when we turn down adoption applicants because they don’t use heartworm preventative.

Why we are insistent about this?  Lack of heartworm preventative usage is not consistent with responsible dog ownership.

PREVENTABLE. Kevin died of a preventable disease. Kevin went through hell because somebody didn’t love him enough to take care of him and provide basic veterinary care. Kevin was loved and cherished by his foster family. He was on his way to a life of love, adoration, fun, security, and toys. All the toys. That was stolen from him because someone didn’t love him enough before.  We loved him, and boy did his foster mom love him. We are grieving for him and will never forget this affectionate, funny, blind little dog.

We hope you never forget him and his story. Check to be sure your dogs are on heartworm preventative every single month. Not just in the summer. Every month. There’s even a once a year shot. Go check now. Call your vet tomorrow. It could save your pet’s life.

We love you, Kevin. See you at the bridge some day.

Kevin's freedom ride!

Kevin learning the ropes from his foster brother.

Settling into his foster home.
Warm and safe.


Find out more about heartworms at the  American Association of Heartworms...