Before you rescue, can you really know what disease your dog could be carrying?

Local News

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — We all know the phrase “adopt don’t shop” but before you do, make sure you have the time and money, especially if you’re taking home a rescue dog.

They’re often abandoned and not on the right preventative measures, which means you could be adopting a dog with an underlying illness. It happened to NewsChannel 9’s Nicole Sommavilla.

It’s easy to fall in love with our furry friends, but it’s hard to love what they come home with.

“Heartworm can be fatal if it’s not identified,” said veterinarian Heather Danboise with Shop City Animal Hospital. Dogs don’t show symptoms right away.

When Nicole adopted her happy boy, Dakota, he looked healthy. His bloodwork from Helping Hounds thought so too. But it takes about six months from the first blood test for worms to show up.

“The saddest part is that it’s very preventable, and it’s easily preventable, and it’s very inexpensive to prevent it,” said Kathy Gilmour, Executive Director of Helping Hounds.

Often times, rescues are abandoned or not cared for, and they’re not on medications to prevent things like heartworm, Lyme disease, or parvo. Which is why Helping Hounds makes sure people are ready before they walk out with so much responsibility at the end of their leash.

“They’re a lot of work and medical care for our pets is unfortunately right there with medical for us,” said Gilmour.

“It’s a slow process. We give a series of injections over two months to try and kill the adult heartworm carefully and slowly and not cause problems with the patient,” said Dr. Danboise.

It’s not easy on the dog and it’s certainly not easy on their parent.

Rescue or not, these types of diseases are completely preventable. So those monthly pills your vet prescribes, are crucial.

“Protecting these wonderful friends of ours from being able to pick up a disease that’s transmitted very easily and can be fatal if it’s not identified,” said Dr. Danboise.

So mark your calendars. Because one missed dose and one mosquito can leave your best friend fighting.

For more local news, follow Nicole Sommavilla on Twitter @NeSommavilla

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