Maverk, July 2003
Maverk was rescued by Georgia Lab Rescue along with two other yellow Labs. The three dogs had spent their entire lives chained to a tree in their owner's backyard. In spite of his history of severe neglect, Maverk displayed a typical Lab temperament and was outgoing and friendly.
Maverk was one of many Labs and Lab-mixes treated for heartworm with the help of LABMED. While most heartworm treatments are successful in restoring the affected dogs to good health, Maverk's case was a sad exception. Maverk died shortly after his heartworm treatment had begun, from the side effects of the treatment.
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.
Maverk's needless death is a dramatic reminder 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!
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Last Updated: Fall 2015