Shadow our heartworm positive dog

We unfortunately have our first Heartworm positive case of the year to report. We are sharing Shadow’s story, to spread awareness about the importance of Heartworm prevention.

Meet Shadow! Shadow is a very special girl, with a wonderful family who loves her dearly. Here is her story:

Hi, Shadow here! Boy, do I have a story to tell! I’m only 2 years old, but I’ve already had a lot to go through in my short life.

Here is my adoption story from my family:

“Our home was supposed to be just a quick stop on her way to her new home but the new owner only wanted the male puppy. Our son asked if we could keep her and after much hesitation we agreed. In the back of our truck she was just a little shadow (hence the name) and still today blends in when there is little lighting.

We only got to see her bossy and adorable personality for a day and a half before she got sick (Parvo) and went to McPhillips Animal Hospital for the first time. The news was not good (we were all in tears) and I’m not sure how we (my husband, son and I) got so attached to her in such a short period. Despite the slim chance of survival we agreed that as long as there was a chance we had to do what we could for her. 

We have grandchildren and she is great with children and loves the attention as much as they do. Shadow is very much loved and part of our family. Our son loves Shadow and she loves him.”

Now, here I am, two years old, and I’ve contracted Heartworm disease. All it took was for me to get bitten by a mosquito carrying the disease.

The symptoms of Heartworm disease include fatigue, weight loss and a chronic cough. Thankfully, my family had a Heartworm screening test done, and the disease was caught early; so I’m not showing any of those symptoms yet.

What’s next? I am undergoing more tests, to give my doctors all the information they need to treat me. I will receive injections to get rid of the Heartworms that are in my system, and be put on “bed rest” to make sure that while the Heartworms in my system are dissolved, my body doesn’t go through any unnecessary strain. My family and my healthcare team will monitor me closely, to make sure I don’t have any side effects that need additional treatments.

After I go through all the treatments to get rid of the Heartworm disease, I will be started on a regular Heartworm prevention schedule, and life should start to get back to normal for me and my family. I am lucky, I was diagnosed early. Animals who are diagnosed after they show symptoms, may have to be on lifetime treatments for heart disease. That is why early detection is so important!

Thank you for reading my story. I hope it helps everyone recognize the importance of Heartworm prevention. Remember to always ask your pet’s veterinarian about any concerns you have for your pet’s health. They are here to help your pets live long and healthy lives!