News & Events

 

SNAPtales, the newsletter of the Spay-Neuter Assistance Prog
 
In This Issue May 1, 2012

   Collect Cool Collars... for a Cause!
   Collars for a Cause Celebration Soars
   Dirty Dogs a Problem? Shampooch!
   Step Up to VetStreet
   Events Benefit SNAP Expansion to SE Harris Co.
   Community Cats Fixed Free Thanks to Grants
   Upcoming SNAP Events
   A Dog's Life by Hedda Hound
   New SNAP Grants
   A Talent for Caring
   Bullet Hole Shooting Complex Benefits SNAP
   Fabulous Felines by Madame Astrocat
   Quote of the Month

- 12,681 -
The number of dogs and cats
helped by your gifts between
Jan. 1 and Mar. 31, 2012.
 

SNAP has sterilized over
400,000

dogs and cats since being
founded in 1993.

 
Collect Cool Collars... for a Cause!
Online Auction Benefiting SNAP Features Unique Collars by Leading Lights
  
Click to visit the auction website!
Detail of collar created by animal artist Ron Burns
Collars aren't the only thing you might win in the auction!
MIDDLE: Detail image of a collar created by famous animal artist Ron Burns. This collar could be yours if you are the winning bidder in the Collars for a Cause online auction. BOTTOM: A seven-day stay at the Palm Island Resort in The Grenadines is one of two trips up for bid in the auction. Click the logo to visit the auction website.

The Collars for a Cause online auction is live with dozens of one-of-a-kind collars created by celebrities, designers, artists, and dignitaries. Collars for a Cause--presented by LIFE+DOG, Momentum Volvo, and Pet Paradise Resort--raises much-needed funds to help SNAP provide free and low-cost services to those in the community that need it the most. If you haven’t been to the auction site to peruse the selection yet, do so today. You will be amazed by what you see!

The online auction began April 13th and runs through May 15.  The site features one-of-a-kind collars created by designers, celebrities, artists, and other public figures that are passionate about making a difference for animals throughout the nation.  Joining the program for 2012 are the inaugural Collars for a Cause designer ambassadors: artist Ron Burns, actress Margaret Cho, actress and singer Jordin Sparks, and designer Elaine Turner. Supporters will also have a chance to bid on designs from omg!Yahoo’s Kristen Aldridge, Chrome Canine, Missy Johnson, Broadway stars Orfeh and Andy Karl, television personality Dina Manzo, Houston Mayor Annise Parker, actress Denise Richards, actress Tori Spelling, and more! The auction provides winning bidders with the opportunity to directly affect the animal welfare crisis while adorning their own walls or furry friends with incredible art pieces that symbolize working together for the common good of the entire community.

If collars just aren't your thing, you might want to have a look at some of the other auction packages available on the Collars for a Cause website. Among these are two vacations from Elite Island Resorts. One is a seven night all-inclusive stay at The Verandah Resort & Spa in Antigua, and the other is a seven night all-inclusive stay for up to two rooms at the Palm Island Resort in The Grenadines. Country music fans might find the Resistol cowboy hat autographed by country music star George Strait with a one-of-a-kind leather collar appealing. If you're interests are more practical, how about a three-month package for unlimited doggie daycare at Deogi Dog Daycare, Spa & Resort? There is definitely something for everyone in this auction.

The Collars for a Cause Celebration and auction are a huge undertaking, and they are only happening thanks to the hard work of some wonderful organizations. Among them are Momentum Volvo, Pet Paradise Pet Resorts, and LIFE+DOG magazine.

"We are thrilled to partner with SNAP and Momentum Volvo," said Diane Caplan, e-commerce and marketing director for Momentum Motorcars. "Organizations like SNAP are a vital resource to our community, providing low-cost, high-quality healthcare options for Houston’s animals and free services to those in the community who need it the most."

"By providing free and low-cost spay and neuter services, SNAP is helping to end the cycle of animal overpopulation in Texas," said Fred Goldsmith, CEO of Pet Paradise Resort. "Preventing the birth of unwanted, unloved animals not only decreases the number of animals that will enter area shelters, it also makes for a happier and healthier companion animal.  Pet Paradise is proud to be a part of the solution to animal overpopulation and to support SNAP’s vision of a world where there are no homeless dogs or cats."

Collars for a Cause was created by LIFE+DOG magazine’s founder and publisher Brett Chisholm, who has been an avid supporter of SNAP since learning of its impact in the community. "I have personally witnessed the appreciation on the faces of animal guardians who line up early in the morning to receive SNAP services at the mobile clinic, which further ignites my passion for making these services available to those who need it the most," said Chisholm. "Additionally, I think SNAP serves as a great example of what communities across the nation can do to effectively address and eradicate animal overpopulation. With that in mind, we wanted to create this opportunity to engage an entirely new set of people and bring attention to an issue that is often overlooked. We’re so grateful for the support of our sponsors and creative collar designers who are helping us take the message of the importance of spaying and neutering your companion animals to the masses."

This auction provides you with chance-of-a-lifetime opportunities to acquire unique and beautiful objects created by talented people who love animals, so be sure to check them out on the Collars for a Cause website. You can keep up with the progress of the auction by "liking" the Collars for a Cause page on Facebook.

SNAP is grateful to LIFE+DOG, Pet Paradise Resort, and Momentum Volvo for their tremendous support of our efforts to prevent the suffering and death of dogs and cats due to overpopulation and preventable diseases, especially in low-incomar areas. We are also greatful to all of those who created collars for the auction:

ONE-OF-A-KIND COLLARS
    Kristen Aldridge - TV Personality: ESPN Road Trip/Yahoo News!
    Kathy Bartlett - Popular Houston Hair Stylist
    Frank Billingsley - Chief Meteorologist at KPRC Local 2 TV in Houston
    Oggie Bogens
    Scott Boyd - Houston Artist
    Britt - K9 arson dog (assisted by Lou Ann Nolan)
    Ron Burns - Famous Animal Artist
    Margaret Cho - Actor and Comedienne
    Sheila Cloudt - Photographer (girl+camera) - 2 collars
    Steve Costello & wife Debra - Houston City Council Member - 2 collars
    Suzanne Cotney - Crazy for Collars
    Casey Curry - Meteorologist at KTRK TV in Houston
   
Kermit Eisenhut - Renowned Houston Artist - 2 collars
    Mickey Gilley - Country & Western Musical Artist
    Jeff Hoff - Artist, Cross Winds Art - 2 collars
    Isabella - Official SNAP Spokesdog

    Johnny Isbell - Mayor of Pasadena, Texas
    Leo Jaimes - Houston Artist
    Missy Johnson - Dogs for the PAWS
    Suzie Ketcham - Basketball Wives Reality TV Star
    Christina Lee - DeafDogsRock.com - 2 collars
    Kathie Lee and Hoda Kotb - NBC Today Show Hosts

    LemonAid Girls
    Mary Lee - Meteorologist at KPRC Local 2 TV in Houston
    Dina Manzo - Real Housewives of New Jersey actress and Dina's Party Host
    Kate Mansi (and Cast of Days of Our Lives) - Actress
    Tinsley Mortimer - Television Personality and Socialite
    Mary Nichols - Artist

    Lou Ann Nolan - South-East Harris County Animal Alliance
    Pasadena Animal Shelter - Lou Ann Nolan - 4 collars
    Ken "The Dauber" Pridgeon - Military Artist
    Carol Quinn - Author of Follow My Lead
    Melody Ross - Artist

    Shorty "Pit Boss" Rossi - Reality TV Pit Bull Dog Trainer
    Orfeh and Andy Karl - Broadway Actors and Real-life Husband and Wife
    Re-Cycle Jewelry - Jewelry from recycled bicycle parts
    Denise Richards - Actress
    James Rodriguez - Houston City Council Member
    Virginia Rodriguez - Hawaiian Artist
    Shirley Ryan-Ameller - Houston Artist
    Marlo Saucedo - Houston Artist
    David Smith - President of SNAP Board of Directors - 2 collars
    Jordin Sparks - Grammy-Nominated Pop Artist
    Tori Spelling - Actress and Reality TV Star
    Tugg the Bull Terrier(Blake Ovard)

    Squeaker - Best Friends Animal Society Pit Bull Rescued from Michael Vick
    Lou Wilson - Cancer Counseling Services
    Courtney Zavala - Emmy-nominated newscaster at KPRC TV in Houston

Visit the Collars for a Cause website today to view and bid on your favorites from this huge selection of wonderful collars and auction packages! 

 
Collars for a Cause Celebration Soars

Fabulousness, Fun, and Funds Mark Benefit Event for SNAP
 
Stylish revelers at the 2012 Collars for a Cause Celebration
Guests peruse the silent auction in this reflected image.
TOP: Stylish revelers pose for a quick portait at the 2012 Collars for a Cause Celebration. Bottom: Guests perusing the silent auction are reflected in the mirror of one of the gorgeous Volvos on display during the event.

The 2012 Collars for a Cause Celebration was a festive and fabulous success by all measures. Several hundred guests converged on the beautiful showroom of Momentum Volvo in Houston, Texas, to enjoy the affair. The showcase of the event was the display of dozens of one-of-a-kind custom collars created by celebrities, designers, artists, and other luminaries for the Collars for a Cause online auction. The event marked the kickoff of the auction. (See related story above.) The event provided the only chance, short of buying all the collars yourself, to see these delightful works of art in person. The evening’s silent auction offered perhaps the best selection of goods and services ever featured at a SNAP event. Amazing food from Catering by George and Nothing Bundt Cakes was complimented by refreshing drinks from Wine to the Rescue by Vero Vino and Tito’s Vodka. Toe-tapping music from a live deejay, convenient free valet parking, and gorgeous cars--all provided by Momentum Volvo--rounded out the soirée.

Photographs from the event can be found on the Collars for a Cause Facebook page. Please be sure to like the page if you haven’t already.

Gross receipts from the event were just under $57,000 with net proceeds approaching $47,000. These figures do not include in-kind gifts, which incur no expense and so will add equally to both totals. The silent auction alone raised nearly $12,000. The funds will be used to continue ongoing SNAP spay-neuter programs, which provide free spay-neuter surgery and rabies vaccinations for dogs and cats living in qualifying low-income households. This will prevent unwanted litters of puppies and kittens from being born and thus being dropped off at shelters or abandoned to roam the streets. The real winners in this event are animals that will never be born--and thus never face the prospect of a pointless and premature death.

The Collars for a Cause Celebration was a production of LIFE+DOG magazine and was created by LIFE+DOG founder and publisher Brett Chisholm. The event would not have been possible without his ceaseless efforts on behalf of SNAP or the generosity of the following wonderful sponsors:

   ADD Blacksheep Printing
   ADP
   Best Friends Animal Sanctuary
   Capital One
   Deogi Dog Daycare, Spa and Resort
   Digital Function
   Ed Gonzales
   Elaine Turner
   Friends of BARC
   Golden Hound
   H.L. Whitingham
   JacKat
   Joe and Jewell Maida
   Kim Hartz Photography
   Laurie, Doug & Becky Vander Ploeg
   Life+Dog
   Lovepups
   Merial
   Mike and Terrie Lewis
   Momentum Porsche
   Momentum Volvo
   Nothing Bundt Cakes
   Office Effects
   Pet Paradise
   Phyllis Anzalone
   Rascal Rocks
   Rover Oaks Pet Resort
   Scoop le Poop
   Silver Spur CandyMakers
   SNAP Board of Directors
   Sonya Gracia
   Tejas Office Supplies
   Texas Dogs & Cats
   The Overton Law Firm P.C.
   The Upper Hand Salon
   Tito's Handmade Vodka
   U.S. Coins & Jewelry
   Vanover Music Academy
   wiggleswagswhiskers.com
   Wine to the Rescue by Vino Vero
   WonderDog NYC

SNAP is grateful to every sponsor, to everyone at LIFE+DOG, and to everyone who attended the event. We look forward to seeing you all next year!

 
Dirty Dogs a Problem? Shampooch!
Dog Wash Event by Whole Foods Market, Pet Paradise, and SNAP Benefits Spay-Neuter
 
Get that dirty dog clean, and support SNAP, at Shampooch!

It has been a glorious spring, full of warm sunny days. Have you been taking your dogs out to frolic and enjoy the lovely weather? If you have, they might soon be in need of a bath. Luckily for you and your canine family members, Whole Foods Market, Pet Paradise Resorts, and SNAP have teamed up to offer a solution, and it's called Shampooch! Shampooch is a dog wash that benefits SNAP spay-neuter programs.

The event takes place on Saturday June 2, 2012, from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. at all Houston area locations of Whole Foods. (See locations below.) Your pooch will be pampered by a crew of gentle dog-loving volunteers using dog- and environment-friendly shampoo. The cost is whatever you choose to donate. All proceeds go to SNAP, so please be as generous as you can. Not only will you help your dog; you will also help to prevent the birth of unwanted animals, which in turn means fewer animals will die on the streets and in the shelters of our communities.

We also need volunteers for this event, so if you are dog-friendly and would like to volunteer, please send an email to Volunteer@snapus.org or call Xavier Torres at 713-862-2863, x206, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Participating Whole Foods Markets are listed below:

    KIRBY
    2955 Kirby Drive, Houston, TX
    713.520.1937

    BELLAIRE
    4004 Bellaire Boulevard, Houston, TX
    713.667.4090

    MONTROSE
    701 Waugh Drive, Houston, TX
    (713) 284-1260

    WOODWAY
    6401 Woodway Drive, Houston, TX
    713.789.4477

    WILCREST
    11145 Westheimer Rd., Houston, TX
    713.784.7776

    SUGARLAND
    15900 Southwest Freeway, Sugar Land, TX
    281.491.5577

SNAP would like to thank Whole Foods Market and Pet Paradise Resort for helping SNAP in the battle against animal overpopulation.
 

 


Click here to schedule an appointment for your cat today!


 
Step Up to VetStreet
Service Provides Online Records and Other Benefits for SNAP Clients
 
SNAP now offers you the convenience of VetStreet!

The number of reasons for bringing your animals to SNAP just increased with the announcement that beginning today, May 1, 2012, SNAP has added VetStreet to its list of services. VetStreet is an information and recordkeeping website that will make protecting and maintaining your animal’s health much easier. It does this through an array of services such as automatic email reminders for vaccinations and other wellness services, text messaging reminders (at the client’s option, of course), an individual website for each of your dogs and cats where you can record important information about them and look up their medical records, and a library of articles on animal health from leading experts. The service will even send a greeting card to commemorate your dog or cat’s birthday!

Pet Portal is the name given to the service that allows you to set up a website for tracking an animal’s information and looking up his or her records. Beginning today, you will find a login link for Pet Portal on the menu on the right-hand side of the SNAP website. Be sure to click the link for Houston or San Antonio depending on your location. Once you sign up, you will be able to set up a profile for your furry friend. There you can upload a photograph of the animal; view his or her vaccination and exam status; and request appointments. You will also have access to the VetStreet educational library of valuable articles regarding animal health and wellness.

Sign up for VetStreet today, and remember that you can access the system 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, through the aforementioned links on the SNAP website.

 
Events Benefit SNAP Expansion to SE Harris Co.
New Funding Generated by Bossa Donut Sale, SEHCCA BBQ, Pasadena Rotary, et. al.
 
 
Help SNAP create a new clinic for Southeast Harris County.

The SNAP expansion project to bring a spay-neuter and animal wellness clinic to Pasadena and Southeast Harris County got a funding boost from several sources during the month of April.

Bosa Donuts at 317 Center Street in Deer Park, Texas, held a sale of their big bosa donuts and their t-shirts on Saturday, April 14, raising $2,100 for the clinic. Animal lover Beth Alford showed up at the sale with an additional donation of $1,000. JPMorgan Chase & Co. is providing a matching donation of $1,000, bringing the total raised by the event to $4,100.

The South-East Harris County Animal Alliance (SEHCAA) held a bar-b-que at the Pep Boys automotive parts and service store at 5445 Fairmont Pkwy in Pasadena on Saturday, April 21, and brought in over $1,000. (The exact amount was not available at press time.) All of the food for the bar-b-que was generously donated, so every penny raised goes to the clinic fund.

Last, but certainly not least, the Pasadena Rotary Foundation awarded SNAP a $1,200 grant to be used to fund the new clinic.

Altogether these events and donations increased the coffers of the project by a total of more than $6,300. SNAP is grateful to Bosa Donuts, Beth Alford, JPMorganChase, SEHCAA, Pep Boys, and the Pasadena Rotary Foundation for their generous support of the expansion effort.

If you would like to help fund this project and reduce the number of animals that die in Southeast Harris County due to overpopulation, you can make a donation on the SNAP website.

 
Community Cats Fixed Free Thanks to Generous Grants
Funds Remain Available for Spaying and Neutering Cats from the 78228 Zip Code
 
 
Community cats include ferals, strays, and free-roaming anim

Funds remain available under grants from The Summerlee Foundation and the Leonard X. Bosack & Bette M. Kruger Charitable Foundation to provide free sterilization surgeries for community cats living in San Antonio’s 78228 zip code. SNAP has, as of April 21, 2012, sterilized a total of 54 animals so far under the grants, including 18 males and 36 females. The grants provide money to cover a total of 170 surgeries, so another 116 animals can be spayed or neutered for free before the funding is exhausted.

Studies show that the most effective way to reduce populations of free-roaming cats is to sterilize them and return them to the same area where they were found. This practice is called Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR). The reason TNR is more effective than euthanasia is that it maintains the competition for food, water, and other resources within a given geographical area while reducing the reproduction rate. Euthanasia eliminates competition making, it easy for unsterilized animals to move in from surrounding areas. When this happens, the reproduction rate remains high.

If you live within the target zip code and perform TNR in the area--or just know of stray, feral, or other free-roaming cats--you are encouraged to bring them in for sterilization. Texas state law requires that every animal sterilized be vaccinated against rabies. Animals presented for surgery under this program will be vaccinated at a cost of $5 per animal unless you can provide a current rabies certificate proving that they have been vaccinated within the past year.

Cats must be brought to the SNAP clinic at 6758 Ingram Rd. in San Antonio for surgery. Cats will be accepted from residents of the zip code or trappers identifying where cats were trapped within the zip code. All cats will have the tips of their left ears trimmed to indicate that they have been sterilized. There are no exceptions to this rule. Appointments are preferred, but SNAP will accept cats in live traps without an appointment. Call 210-673-7722 or email SA-Appointments@snapus.org to set up an appointment or for more information.

SNAP is sincerely grateful to the The Summerlee Foundation and to the Bosack & Kruger Charitable Foundation for providing the funding for this important program.

 
Upcoming SNAP Events
 
Saturday, June 2, 2012 - Houston, TX
  Shampooch Dog Wash Beneifting SNAP
A donation gets your dirty dog clean thanks to Pet Paradise Resort and Whole Foods Market.

Hedda HoundHedda Hound Banner

 
Hello Darlings!

Recently there have been several outbreaks of canine influenza in Texas, so this month we are changing our format a bit to give SNAP Executive Director James R. Weedon, D.V.M., a chance to discuss this threat to the health of our beloved canines. Without further ado, here are his comments:

In San Antonio last September, there was an outbreak of canine influenza, a highly contagious respiratory disease of dogs that resulted in at least 20 confirmed and 60 suspected cases. This month the Gulf Greyhound Park in La Marque was closed for 10 days after approximately 120 dogs became ill with suspected but unconfirmed canine influenza. Because these outbreaks have received media attention, a brief review of canine influenza (dog flu) might be timely.

The H3N8 equine influenza virus has been known to exist in horses for more than 40 years. In 2004, however, cases of an unknown respiratory illness in dogs (initially greyhounds) were reported. An investigation showed that this respiratory illness was caused by the equine influenza A H3N8 virus. Scientists believe that this virus jumped species (from horses to dogs) and has now adapted to cause illness in dogs and spread efficiently among dogs. This is now considered a new dog-specific lineage of H3N8.

The symptoms of this illness are cough, runny nose, and fever with a small proportion of the dogs developing severe disease. Approximately 20 percent of infected dogs may not exhibit clinical signs but can shed the virus and spread infection. The majority of infected dogs will have a cough that persists for 10 to 21 days despite treatment. Some dogs are more severely affected with clinical signs of pneumonia such as high-grade fever (104*F to 106*F) and increased respiratory rate and effort. Treatment consists of supportive care. Deaths do occur but are mainly in dogs with the severe form of the disease, and the death rate is thought to be in the 1-5 percent range.

Canine Influenza cannot be diagnosed by clinical signs alone because the clinical signs (coughing, sneezing, and nasal discharge) are similar to those associated with other respiratory pathogens. Definitive diagnosis is by laboratory confirmation.

There is no evidence of transmission of the canine influenza virus from dogs to people, and there has not been a single reported case of human infection with canine influenza virus.

The first influenza vaccine for dogs was developed in 2009. The vaccine is intended as an aid in the control of the disease associated with the canine influenza virus. Like human influenza vaccines, it may not prevent infection altogether but rather reduce severity and duration of clinical illness as well as shorten the virus shedding interval. The vaccine is not recommended for every dog. In general, the vaccine is intended for the protection of those most likely to be exposed. Dogs that may benefit from canine influenza vaccination would include those that participate in activities with many other dogs (dogs shows, dog parks, sporting events, etc.) or are in communal housing (shelters, boarding facilities, etc.).

Hedda would like to thank Dr. Weedon for being her guest this month and, more importantly, for bringing this valuable information to our attention. SNAP Wellness Clinics now have a supply of the canine influenza (H3N8) vaccine on hand and can provide vaccinations for those dogs who most need it. While there may be no cure for this disease, we can at least take measures to reduce the impact it has on the precious dogs of our communities. Tell ‘em Hedda said so!

 
New SNAP Grants
A Monthly Review of New SNAP Grants

 

SNAP would like to express its appreciation to the following foundations, charitable trusts, and corporations for their recent grant awards to SNAP:

   Vivian L. Smith Foundation, $15,000
   Elinor Patterson Baker Trust, $15,000
   Tapeats Fund, $10,000
   Albert & Ethel Herzstein Charitable Foundation, $5,000
   Susman Family Foundation, $2,500
   Pasadena Rotary Foundation, $1,200
   Sam's Club #8281, $1,000

 
A Talent for Caring
Artist April Murphy Raises Funds for Spay-Neuter at 4 x 4 Warm Fuzzies Art Show
 
 
A portrait of SNAP spokesdog Isabella by artist April Murphy
This print of a portrait of SNAP spokesdog Isabella by artist April Murphy was one of many wonderful works available at a recent benefit by the artist.

Artist April Murphy has a passion for art and animals. She demonstrates these related interests through her drawings and paintings of creatures domesticated and wild and through her support for spay-neuter. Both were showcased on Saturday, April 28, 2012, at the opening of 4 x 4 Warm Fuzzies Art Show by AEM Gallery at the Hollywood Frame Gallery--which featured Ms. Murphy’s latest work. The artist donated a portion of the proceeds from sales during the show and funds raised through a prize drawing for the benefit of SNAP spay-neuter programs. A total of $220 was raised at the event, but the benefit continues through the first week of May, so there is still time to snag some awesome animal-oriented artwork and help our furry friends in the process.

Guests had the opportunity to meet Murphy and to see and purchase a large collection of her artwork. Items offered in the drawing included her original and reproduction artwork as well as sporting event tickets and great animal-oriented gift baskets. Wine and light refreshments were served. If you are interested in viewing or purchasing Ms. Murphy’s work, be sure to visit Hollywood Frame Gallery at 2427 Bissonet in Houston, Texas, before the end of the week.

SNAP is sincerely grateful to Ms. Murphy for using her talents for the benefit of SNAP spay-neuter programs and to Hollywood Frame Gallery for hosting this fun event.

 
Bullet Hole Shooting Complex Benefits SNAP
San Antonio Complex Donates Hundreds of Dollars Worth of Wish List Items
 
 
Need a really big gun? Bullet Hole might be able to help.
Bullet Hole Shooting Complex have brought out the big guns in their donation drive for SNAP! Photo courtesy of Bullet Hole Shooting Complex.

SNAP is pleased to announce that the Bullet Hole Shooting Range, located at 2715 Grosenbacher Rd., in San Antonio has undertaken an ongoing donation drive for SNAP. Owner Carole Hester and her customers have been gathering wish list items for the clinic for several months. Ms. Hester has visited the clinic many times since the drive began to deliver paper towels, cleansers, and countless other items critical to the day-to-day operations of the clinic. Each delivery has included at least $100 worth of products, bringing the current total of donations to somewhere between $500 and $1,000.

This direct support for SNAP spay-neuter programs will help reduce the number of animals born unwanted and therefore the number that end up being euthanized in shelters or dying on San Antonio streets.

SNAP is immensely grateful to Ms. Hester and the generous Bullet Hole Shooting Complex customers who have made the donation drive such a success. Their generosity is deeply appreciated!

 
Madame AstroCat[object Object]

 
Dear Readers,

You have probably heard of heartworms, haven’t you? They are a potentially deadly parasite that infects dogs. They’re not a problem for cats, of course…. Or are they? Many people don’t protect their cats with heartworm preventative because they don’t perceive it as a threat. A threat they are, however, and for your edification, Madame Astrocat devotes this month’s top ten list to presenting the myths and realities of heartworms and the dangers they pose for our feline friends.

10. Poor dogs - Many believe that heartworms affect only dogs—or that the number of cats that become infected is minimal. A recent study by Dr. Tom Nelson, former president of the American Heartworm Association and surgical director of the Animal Medical Centers of Northeast Alabama, disproves this myth.1

9. Poor cats - Dr. Nelson’s study has revealed that 26 percent of shelter cats are or have been infected with heartworm larvae. This is double the infection rate for feline leukemia. Adult heartworms were found in 10 percent of the cats. Did you get your cat from a shelter?

8. Inside cats are safe - Many believe that, because their cats are kept indoors 24/7/365, they are not in any danger of contracting heartworms. Heartworms are transmitted by mosquitoes. The theory is that indoor cats are rarely or never exposed to mosquitoes, so the chances of infection are slim.

7. No they’re not - It only takes a single bite from a single infected mosquito to infect your cat. Can you guarantee that not a single mosquito will enter your home during the entire lifespan of your cat? (Seriously?)

6. Heartworms cause heart disease - This is true for dogs, but they also cause respiratory disease in dogs because they invade the lungs. They primarily affect the lungs in cats. Symptoms resemble those of other feline respiratory diseases, so an infection may be misdiagnosed as something else.

5. Symptoms are variable - Dr. Nelson reveals that your cat may show no symptoms but die quite suddenly. He or she may instead show any or all of the following symptoms: "anorexia, blindness, collapse, convulsions, diarrhea, fainting, lethargy, rapid heart rate, [or] weight loss..."

4. Heartworm larvae cause no damage - It is true that dogs typically do not experience serious health implications from heartworms until the worms reach adulthood. Not only is this not true for cats; it turns out that quite the opposite is the case.

3. Heartworms larvae injure your cat - The aforementioned study conducted by Dr. Nelson reveals that fully half of all cats infected with heartworm larvae had serious damage to blood vessels supplying the lungs. This means that your cat’s health can be compromised almost as soon as he or she becomes infected.

2. A heartworm test tells the tale - Here again, what is true for dogs is not necessarily true for cats. Heartworm testing can only tell you whether an animal has adult heartworms. As we now know, cats can be injured by heartworms that have not yet reached adulthood.

1. A pound of prevention... - That most venerable of old adages continues to hold true, especially where cats and heartworms are concerned. SNAP wellness clinics stock feline heartworm prevention products. Given what you now know, don’t you think protecting your beloved cat(s) is the prudent thing to do? You can learn more about heartworms by visiting www.knowheartworms.org, www.heartwormsociety.org, or www.petsandparasites.org.

Footnotes

1) "5 Myths about Feline Heartworm Disease" by Dr. Tom Nelson, VetStreet, April 19, 2012.


Quote of the Month
  
"You can judge a man's true character by the way he treats his fellow animals." ~ Paul McCartney
 

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