Welcome to Colville Animal Hospital, your local veterinarians in Colville, WA.
We’re pleased to provide a wide variety of veterinary services for animals in Colville and the surrounding areas. Our team is dedicated to providing the best care possible for your pets, and in 1995 we were proudly certified by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) – only 15% of small animal hospitals achieve this accreditation. You can learn more about AAHA’s standards for their members here. Our facility is equipped with up-to-date lab equipment and digital x-rays. This helps our doctors diagnose and treat most problems as quick as possible. We also maintain excellent relationships with nearby specialists should your pet need referral for specialized care. We’re open Monday to Friday from 7:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. and from 8 a.m. – noon on Saturday. We are available 24 hours a day for emergency care. If you have an after-hours emergency, please call (509) 684-2102 Find out more about our team by visiting our Team page.
On Friday May 20th, a post labeled “Urgent Health Warning” appeared on social media by the Forget Me Not Animal Shelter. The post warned about an 18 month-old dog that allegedly spent her whole life in Curlew, tested positive for the heartworm parasite.
We have been in direct contact with the shelter. They adopted out the dog in question, a shepherd/lab cross, two weeks ago. The new owners reside in Western Washington. Veterinarians there tested her prior to placing her on a heartworm preventative as we normally do. She tested positive. A second blood test also tested positive. An ultrasound of the heart confirmed the presence of the parasite in the pup’s heart.
The dog was an owner surrender to the shelter and relatives allege the dog never left their property. A second dog from that location was also surrendered alongside this dog and there are other dogs in that household. All are scheduled to be tested.
Currently, heartworm is not considered to reside and reproduce in Washington State. Though there have been a number of cases of heartworm diagnosed in Washington, almost all those cases have history (or an unknown history) of traveling outside of Washington where they became infected.
Heartworm transmission from an infected dog to a new host occurs through mosquitoes. The mosquito bites an infected dog where it picks up the larvae. Over the next 10-14 days the larvae must mature before it is considered “infective” and can be transmitted to a new host by the infected mosquito. Typically in order for that larval maturation to occur, the ambient temperature must maintain at or above 80 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 2 weeks. When the temperature drops below 57 degrees Fahrenheit the cycle ceases entirely and the larvae cannot mature to an infective stage.
While the Inland Northwest has its share of mosquitoes, our low night time ambient temperatures typically interrupt the larval maturation process so we do not see heartworm often among dogs living here.
For now, the Colville Animal Hospital, is recommending and offering heartworm testing for your dogs. This is a necessary step before starting the preventative medication, especially if you plan to travel to heartworm areas of the country.
It is premature however to recommend that all dogs be put on preventative medication. If more cases are seen and it appears heartworm is here to stay, we may change our recommendations accordingly. We will remain in close contact with the Shelter and Washington State University’s diagnostic laboratory and will do our best to keep our community informed of this situation and any change in measures for heartworm prevention.
For more information on heartworm itself visit : www.heartwormsociety.org