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Caissie Canine Instruction: Commonly Asked Questions About Heartworm

We begin this week’s “RUFF TAILS” featuring a beautiful 10-year-old Dalmatian named Colby.


Colby is super affectionate, loving, loyal, and loves to give the biggest kisses!!! He is athletic and adventurous. He loves swimming, hiking, and playing fetch for hours on end!!!

Colby is also super anxious and weary of new people and children, which can be challenging at times. Thankfully, with the help of Paul and his training methods, we’ve been able to set clear boundaries with Colby so that he feels safe and confident.

Although shy, he is super playful and silly with those he trusts. I’m so grateful to have him as a best friend.


**********************BONUS FEATURE*********************


                                     K9 CORNER WITH THE CHIEF


I am sure everyone is excited about the summer months ahead. Humans love to absorb the beautiful sun and heat!

However, we must be very cognizant of your canine partners. Across Canada heat fatalities are a reality. The cause could be exercising your K9 for an extended period or leaving them unattended in a vehicle alone.


Many of us may feel comfortable to leave a dog in a vehicle running with the air conditioning system engaged. However, if the vehicle has a breakdown with your K9 inside it will overheat quickly and could result in a medical emergency for your K9.


Our recommendation is always considering the heat and err on the side of caution.  K9 heat related deaths are preventable.


I always have a bottle of water with me for my K9 Jaxon. During the summer months it is a MUST, regardless of the exercise level or time outside.

Even if your K9 does not feel like drinking the water, we recommend splashing some on their nose if it is dry.


Early physical signs of heat exhaustion are excessive panting, drooling, tremors, lethargic or collapsing suddenly. If you see any of these signs provide cool water and shade immediately. Try to keep your dog calm and in a relaxed state of mind. Contact your vet immediately.

Welcome to Doggie Dialogue


Heartworm is a serious health condition that can result in heart failure, lung disease and even death for our dogs.


Heartworm can be preventable and often treatable. Mosquitoes play a critical role in the transmission of heartworm disease.

A mosquito will feed on an infected animal and will pick up an immature stage of heartworm called microfilaria. The immature stage matures within the mosquito to an infective stage.

Then mosquito then goes on to bite a dog and passes along this infective stage, which matures even further over six to seven months into adult heartworm within that dog. Adult heartworm can live up to 5-7 years in a dog.


Dogs can be re-infected even if they already have heartworm, which means that they can have more and more heartworms that build up in their body if not treated.

Heartworm disease is not spread directly from dog-to-dog or from dog-to-human. Heartworm disease in humans is rare.


Signs of heartworm are the following:


-shortness of breath

-exercise intolerance



-reduce appetite


Heartworm treatment traditionally involves a monthly heartworm preventative in the form of an oral or topical medication.

The purpose of this medication is to kill the immature heartworms and help to prevent heartworm infections.


Bacteria within the heartworm, that help heartworms survive, will be killed using a specific antibiotic prescribed by your veterinarian.


Please talk to your veterinarian for any further information regarding heartworm disease.

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