No longer able to treat heartworm in pets

L owell Yates and his wife Pam have had Ph oe bee in their family for the last eight years. He says he's sorry to hear about the discontinuation of the drug to treat heartworm in dogs and cats, but he says for less then ten dollars a month, prevention is the key.

" I think for anyone that is a pet owner, no matter if it's a sporting dog or even a lap dog, you should spend the $100 a year to prevent your dog from getting the disease ," said Yates

Dr. Bob Reich says the old adage of not having to worry about your dog getting bit by a mosquito after the first frost and going through to the spring is out the window. Reich says he recommends to all of his pet owners that they continue the heartworm treatment year round.

" It takes about two years for the heartworms to do their toll. But that is a six to eight inch worm that's living in the heart and the blood vessels around the heart. If you can imagine having something that looks like a piece of spaghetti inside your heart ," said Reich.

Reich says because the treatment medicine is no longer made because it contained arsenic. And that means it's no longer available, it's now all about preventing heartworm in the first place. He says if a case is diagnosed, the only thing that can be done is to treat the symptoms until the animal succumbs to the disease.