Shelter dog has life-threatening heartworm

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NAPOLEON (WTVG) -- Treatments can be costly, but the outcome could be deadly.

If you own a dog, experts say you need to protect it from heartworm.

Jasper, an 8-year-old dog who was recently returned to the Henry County Humane Society, has heartworms.

The parasites transferred into his bloodstream from a mosquito bite.

Jasper got the heartworms, according to the shelter manager, because he was getting a dose of monthly heartworm prevention tablets meant for a 70 pound dog, but he weighs 100 pounds.

"His system did not get enough of the heartworm prevention medicine in him to help keep him protected," explains Joan Comstock, the shelter manager for the Henry County Humane Society.

"Most dogs that enter into a humane society situation aren't going to make it out of this situation," adds Kate Colliflower, a veterinarian with Napoleon Veterinary Clinic who is treating Jasper.

Colliflower explains treatments can cost up to $1,000, last six months and they can be risky.

Jasper has to be kept in a cage for the next 120 days so he doesn't get excited and aggravate his condition.

His prognosis is good, but Jasper will need to be closely watched as he gets injections meant to poison the heartworms, but keep him alive.