Protect your pets from potentially deadly summer mosquitoes - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Protect your pets from potentially deadly summer mosquitoes

(KFVS) -

Doctors from BluePearl Veterinary Partners are warning pet owners that the rainy summer leads to an increase in mosquitoes.

The mosquitoes spread damaging and dangerous heartworms.

Recently Dr. Laura Hatton, a board-certified cardiologist with BluePearl, performed surgery to remove a large number of heartworms from a 2-year-old Yorkshire terrier, Raymond.

Raymond is a stray and was brought to the Humane Society of Greater Kansas City.

He was believed to have a heart murmur and was diagnosed with heartworm disease.

The deadly parasitic worms were discovered during a cardiac ultrasound and they had infiltrated the important blood vessels affecting blood flow to his lungs and heart.

The heartworms migrated into his right heart and were entrapped around his tricuspid valve.

This is a condition referred to as caval syndrome.

"In a case this advanced, if you don't get the worms out in a short amount of time, most dogs don't make it," Dr. Hatton said.

Dr. Hatton was able to find the worms and removed them from Raymond's heart by passing an instrument down his jugular vein and into the right heart.

Raymond is back to his happy, energetic self and is available to be adopted.

"Heartworms are entirely preventable," she added. "It's much safer and cheaper to maintain monthly heartworm prevention than to try to treat existing heartworms."

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