Louisiana is second leading in heartworm deaths in the United States. While prognosis can be grim for some dogs, there are ways to prevent it.
Veterinarian Dr. Katie Crabbe said it is never too late to get on a heartworm prevention.
"There are a lot of convenient options out there for owners," Crabbe said. "The cost of those prevention's is minimal compared to treatment costs. In private practice it could be over a thousand dollars."
Crabbe said last year was a bad one for Acadiana Animal Aid. They had to watch three dogs never get a chance to find their fur-ever home because of the disease.
"We had a really tough week last year where we lost three animals to heartworm disease in one week," Crabbe said. "It was hard on our staff and it was hard to see."
While it was hard to see, Crabbe said it was especially hard on the animal.
"The animal truly does suffer when they develop heartworm disease."
Crabbe said they estimate about 30 percent of the animals that come to their shelter are heartworm positive. She said the treatment can cost them about $60,000 a year.
That is why Acadiana Animal Aid is hosting a fundraiser called "Heal a Heart." It is happening through Valentine's Day and will help offset that high number.
"You can go to our website acadianaanimalaid.org and go to the donate tab," Crabbe said. "You'll see a list of medical conditions that you can donate toward. You can go to our Facebook page, Acadiana Animal Aid, and there will be a link for you to donate there."
To donate or adopt head to acadianaanimalaid.org.