Alex, March 2003
Alex is an older chocolate female who was surrendered by her owners to a veterinarian. She is a spry 10 year old Lab -- very active and full of life. Alex was brought in to the vet clinic to be euthanized because the family had recently moved into a new house. Alex had been relegated to the back yard at the new property, and in protest she starting barking non-stop. After the police had been called several times, the owners took her in to the vet to end the problem. The vet refused to euthanize the healthy dog and called on Lab Rescue of Tulsa, OK for help. Alex tested positive for heartworms, and the rescue group contacted LABMED for help in funding the necessary treatment. Then Alex would be ready for a new indoor home.
Alex is one of the lucky dogs who can look forward to a healthy life as long as she receives a heartworm preventative on a regular basis. Heartworm is spread to dogs by mosquito bites and is detected by a blood test.
Prevention of heartworms is easy, but the treatment is hard on a dog. Heartworm preventatives kill the immature worms in a dog's blood and have little or no effect on the dog. Killing the adult worms is very stressful for a dog, requiring hospitalization and four weeks of limited activity to prevent damage to the lungs as the adult heartworms die.
Please help us to educate dog owners about heartworm disease. Not everyone is aware of how life-threatening heartworms can be and how easy it is to prevent them. There are very few areas of the US where heartworm is not a threat to the health of dogs for at least part of the year. Administering heartworm preventative on a regular basis is an important part of responsible dog ownership!
Update, January 2004
Alex has been adopted to a wonderful home. The person who adopted Alex is the manager of a retirement/nursing home. Alex goes to work everyday at the home and is adored by all. She has her dog bed for her quiet time and makes the rounds to her favorite people. She has taught her owner that dogs do indeed like to work for their treats. Alex amazes all she meets with the assortment of tricks she performs for her most favorite treats. Alex just needs a makeover, with some brown dye on her cheeks, and no one would ever guess her age!
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