Check reveals dog health issue

The Esther Honey Foundation is urging dog owners to have their animals checked following the discovery of a heartworm in a dog that was being checked for export to New Zealand.

Clinic manager Jo Taylor-Kupu said during a routine veterinary health check required for the exportation of animals to other countries, Esther Honey vets tested a dog named Ella for heartworm.

Taylor-Kupu said the test was positive.

Heartworm was first confirmed on Rarotonga more than 20 years ago by the foundation and immediately recommended that Rarotonga dogs receive monthly preventative treatment.

“This positive test result is a reminder that we all need to be pro-active and vigilant about a potentially lethal threat to our pets’ health,” said Taylor-Kupu.

Heartworm is a parasite that can infect dogs and, occasionally, cats.

The adult worms live in the big vessels and heart of the animals and can lead to life-threatening illness and death.

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