FATAL DISEASE: Dr Angela Sutherland urges dog owners to seek prevention for Heartworm after a dramatic increase.
FATAL DISEASE: Dr Angela Sutherland urges dog owners to seek prevention for Heartworm after a dramatic increase. Aden Stokes

CQ pet owner warning: Shock spike in heartworm cases

THE Central Highlands region is experiencing a dramatic increase in the number of heartworm cases in dogs.

Maraboon Vet Surgery has had six dogs test positive in the last few months and they expect this number to grow exponentially over the next 12 months.

Veterinarian Dr Angela Sutherland said the dogs diagnosed with heartworm ranged in ages and sizes, from a three-year-old Jack Russell terrier to a seven- year-old staffy terrier.

"Some patients were showing no signs of illness, where others were showing coughing and exercise intolerance,” Dr Sutherland said.

"None of dogs diagnosed were on constant heartworm prevention.

"One was sporadically given a monthly tablet and the rest were on no prevention at all.”

Dr Sutherland said prevention could be in the form of monthly treatments or a yearly injection.

"Prevention is only as good at the owner's vigilance in providing treatment,” she said.

"It is thought that up to 40 per cent of heartworm infected dogs have been on monthly prevention, but even missing one dose can leave your dog at risk.

"We recommend that all dogs in the area that have not been on regular heartworm prevention be tested for heartworm.

"If your dog has not been on regular prevention or you are unsure, it is best to have your dog tested before starting or recommencing any heartworm prevention as they can become ill if an inappropriate prevention is given.”

According to Dr Sutherland, since the Queensland flood in 2011, mosquito numbers, and therefore mosquito borne disease including heartworm, were on the rise all over the state.

"The leading manufacturer of heartworm prevention has documented over 1000 cases in last three years, with over 80 per cent of those being in Central to Northern Queensland,” she said.

"It is spread by over 60 mosquito species.

"A single mosquito bite is all that is required to infect a dog that is not on adequate heartworm prevention, even if they never have contact with other dogs.”

Heartworm disease is serious and potentially fatal.

For prevention and treatment of heartworm please contact your local veterinarian.

Maraboon Veterinary Surgery Opens

THE Maraboon Veterinary Surgery is up and running in their brand new state of the art hospital on 61 Hospital Rd.

Veterinarian Dr Angela Sutherland said the new facility had doubled the capacity at the previous location to meet the increasing needs of pet owners in the area.

"We got inspiration on tours of some of Australia best veterinary surgeries,” Dr Sutherland said.

"We used Therian design team, Australian leading experts in pet care facilities, to help us come up with the concept.

"This helped us ensure that the Central Highlands has the animal care facility they deserve for their beloved pets.”

With the opening of the Maraboon Pet Resort in November 2016, the Maraboon Vet team helped to fill a much needed service in the area.

Next, they turned their focus on the medical facility and moved into the new premises in December 2017. They are now fully operational.

"We have listened to our clients and feel that our updated, state of the art facility now matches the service and care that our clients expect and receive from our caring team,” Dr Sutherland said.

"We are a locally owned family practice that have been running the vet surgery for seven years now.

"We offer the highest possible medical care and client/patient service.

"We even have a specialist surgeon from Brisbane coming to the practice once a month to work out of our new facilities.

"This will save people having to transport their pets to Brisbane or Rockhampton for advanced diagnostics and treatments.”

Dr Sutherland said between the Maraboon Veterinary Surgery and the Maraboon Pet Resort, they had all your pets needs covered.

"We are very proud of our new facility and are happy to show clients around,” she said.

"We feel it is important that people can see our facilities so they know that their beloved pets are always in great hands with us.

"Please call ahead to make arrangements for a time to see either the Pet Resort or Veterinary Surgery.”

To book an appointment please call 49876800.

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