PUPPY LOVE: Pet specialists give advice on pet health

Published: Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 02:04 PM.

Dogs affected by heartworms can be treated, but the cost exceeds that of preventive medications, which run from about $8 to $10 a month, depending on the dog's size.

Conversely, heartworm treatment injections can range between $500 and $900, depending on the dog's size.

Rabies

Humans bitten by animals infected with rabies can die without immediate treatment. The virus attacks the central nervous system and carries symptoms including depression, sensitivity to touch, painful swallowing and drooling, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

Due to the risk, the law requires pets to receiveregular rabies shots from licensed veterinarians.

"They should start getting rabies vaccinations once a year," Johnson said. "After the first couple of years, they have the option of getting a three-year shot."

Dogs, cats and ferrets must be vaccinated starting at 4 months old, under Florida statutes, which require owners to receive vaccination certificates.



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