Short Takes

January 2008 Issue

Short Takes: 01/08

Heartworm danger for all; better hygiene at mealtime; popular pet names

The last time Frannie, the ShortTakes office feline, had her annual exam, we asked about heartworm control. The vet said that, as long as Frannie continued to be a strictly indoor cat living in this region (upstate New York), heartworm medication "probably isn’t necessary." But ask again when Frannie comes back in six months, the vet added, "because things might change." We had been thinking about the late Dr. Jim Richards, an outspoken crusader for heartworm protection — no matter where in the 50 states a cat might live. All it takes is one mosquito, biting a heartworm-infected dog — then passing the disease on to the next cat it bites —to cause HARD (heartworm-associated respiratory disease), Dr. Richards said again and again.

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