Seamus here to give you the facts on parasites, straight from the horse’s, or rather dog’s, mouth. My fellow canine compadres Ellie Mae and Willie, as well, as our feline frenemy Mr. Biggles, will be along later to tackle other creepy crawlies, but let’s get the ball rolling with heartworms. Sure, they have a cute enough name, but these guys are no joke. Right after my mom rescued me, we went to the vet for my annual check-up. Everything was going great, lots of people paying me attention and giving belly rubs, when the vet came in and told my mom I’d tested positive for heartworm. You see, before my mom rescued me, I was the unfortunate victim of a mosquito bite. Yep, just a pup minding my own business, playing in the yard and bam! before I knew it, I was dinner. This particular mosquito was carrying the larvae of heartworms and infected me with one bite. From that bite, those larvae were free to float through my blood and mature. As every adult must, they needed to find a home and my heart and lungs were pretty nice places to set up digs. I noticed that I couldn’t run and play as long as before. Turns out, those worms were blocking my blood flow. The next few months of treatment were pretty scary, but I had my mom by my side to hold my paw. I had to spend some time in the hospital and get some injections that made my back pretty sore. I wasn’t allowed to run or play with my roommates for months. Too much activity, the vet said, could cause the dying heartworms to completely block a blood vessel, then it’d be curtains for me. Mom seemed pretty stressed through it all too. The worst part of it all though? The treatments were expensive, so mom couldn’t afford all those yummy treats and toys! Talk about rough! But as you can probably guess, I came through it all right. Fear not my furry friends, there’s a simple way to avoid it all! Every month mom gives me and the gang a chewy treat called Interceptor Plus. Mom says it’s medicine to prevent all of us from going through what I did. We take it year-round because you never know when those sneaky blood-suckers might strike. Take it from me, you’ll want your humans to pick up your yearly supply today from the nice people at Liberty Vet Hospital. We also get tested once a year just to make sure that the medicine is working properly. I’ve been happy and heartworm free for 4 years now! I better sign off for now, but stay tuned, that crazy beagle Ellie Mae is very eager to talk about some kind of stomach worms she acquired on her last adventure.