Heartworms Suck (Kind of Literally)


Believe me, you don't want heartworms

Believe me, you don’t want heartworms

Today is one of my favorite days of the month… actually, it was supposed to be yesterday, but nobody realized it was THE day until I was already wrapped in the arms of Morpheus for the night. That’s because the calendar alarm went off as it does on the 16th of every month at around 7:00 p.m., but nobody was at the computer to get the message. Instead, we were all in the family room extra early for some quality television watching. It was Hollywood Week on American Idol, plus we had a Mentalist, two episodes of Royal Pains and a Chopped to grind through.

Here’s my usual evening routine: after everyone in the house (me included) has finished dinner and the dishes have been done (I lick an occasional plate, but that’s the limit of my scullery services), we all head for our favorite comfy chairs and couch, and settle in for a couple of hours of chewing and viewing pleasure. Yep, that’s the only time of the day when I allow myself the guilty pleasure of gnawing on my rawhide bone. It’s always somewhere around the couch — an easy find unless that dreaded vacuum cleaner has been run. Then it’s anybody’s guess where my bone has ended up. Once it was out of reach (though not out of sight) on the fireplace mantle; another time it was lost for days until someone sat down to play the piano and struck an awful chord. Turned out my bone was resting on the piano strings. Sheesh.

Anyway, back to my favorite day of the month. The 16th is when I get to take my heartworm prevention medicine. I mean, the thought of having any worm crawling inside my body is enough to make me lose my lunch (and yes, I have been known to have a worm or two in my youth); but, the idea that these particular worms (Dirofilaria immitis) could get into my heart and ultimately do me in… well, that most definitely would keep me up nights if it weren’t for my very responsible humans who give me my monthly dose of keep-away medicine. Phew! Thankfully, it’s gotten less expensive over the years. I prefer the chewable Heartgard Plus (that’s not meant to be a shameless plug, but Merial, if you’re reading this, don’t hesitate to send some freebies my way), but there are other options for you purists who only will take your pills if they’re wrapped in a slice of cheese.

The bottom line is, it doesn’t really matter which heartworm prevention medicine you take… just take something!

Related links: 

American Heartworm Society

Wikipedia (including a disgusting photo)