In the U.S., Louisiana has one of the highest rates of heartworm disease in dogs. The Villalobos Rescue Center in New Orleans cares for approximately 300 pit bulls, and this year 95 came into its care infected with heartworm disease. Villalobos is in desperate need of help treat the high volume of dogs affected by and susceptible to contracting heartworm disease. Treatment for heartworms can cost anywhere between $200 - $500 per dog, but if left untreated it can be fatal!
Heartworms are parasitic worms that live in the arteries of the lungs and sometimes to the right of the heart in dogs. Adult worms can grow up to 12 inches in length, can live 5-7 years, and a dog can have as many as 250 worms in its system. If left untreated it can be fatal to the dog. Preventing heartworm disease in dogs is easy and inexpensive, but once a dog is infected the cost of treatment can be very expensive.
Prevention is the best way to safeguard dogs against heartworms. Preventative medicines cost between $35-$80 depending on the size of the dog. Once a dog has heartworms, however, they must get treated, which can cost up to $500.
Funding heartworm treatment for the dogs in Villalobos Rescue Center will ensure that they live a long and healthy life. With enough support, Villalobos can also provide the dogs preventative treatments on a regular basis to help protect them from infection.