April is National Heartworm Disease Awareness, month and I would love to share about how I got started with my non-profit organization called Wags 4 hope. My family began searching for three years through countless pet stores, rescue shelters, Newspapers, and private dog breeders, for a loving and loyal friend. A year and a half ago, our search happily ended when I was searching the Internet and found a two-year-old shaggy dog that had been rescued at a high kill shelter in Houston, Texas.
At his Veterinarian check up it soon was discovered that Teddy tested positive for heartworm disease through an antigen test. This blood test detects specific proteins, called antigens, which are released by adult female heartworms into the dog’s bloodstream. Teddy had to be given two injections of arsenic and remain in a crate. He had to be inactive and carefully monitored for a couple of months. The treatment for heartworm disease is very expensive and difficult for dogs to recover from. It can also be potentially toxic to the dog’s body and can cause serious complications, such as life-threatening blood clots to the lungs. Treatment is very expensive because it requires multiple visits to the Veterinarian, with the process of blood work, and X-rays. It broke my heart to learn that my dog had endured great pain.
Having learned devastating effects of heartworm disease from my loving companion, I seek to educate pet owners across the country about heartworm disease. I founded Wags 4 Hope in an effort to raise awareness and help support shelter animals’ medical needs. I combine my love of painting with my passion for animals. All of the proceeds raised through my paintings are given animal shelters and rescues.
For more information please visit wags4hope.org