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K9 Heartworm and Health Disclosures


Many people do not understand the life stages of heartworm. There is a period of six months or longer after the dog is infected with the microfilaria of the heartworm that the dog will show a negative heartworm test. This is why it is so important to have all dogs tested on an annual basis (usually in the spring), even when they have tested negative and been on heartworm preventative. During this time there are not enough microfilaria to show a positive test, nor are there actually any worms present in the dog's heart. Please note heartworm preventative will only stop the advancement of the Heartworm Disease in the first levels of the development of the microfilaria. Once the microfilaria reach higher levels, heartworm preventative will not kill the microfilaria.

At this level, the heartworm test still shows negative.

Once a microfilaria has matured in the dog's heart, the dog will start by showing a very slight positive on a heartworm test. As the number of mature worms in the dog's heart increases, the Heartworm Test with show a stronger positive, and more damage is done to the dog's heart. If a dog had a positive heartworm test in the program, you would have been notified the dog was treated for heartworm during its time in the program.

ALL PROGRAM DOGS ARE TESTED NEGATIVE FOR HEARTWORM BEFORE BEING PLACED ON HEARTWORM PREVENTATIVE. Although this meets all veterinary protocols regarding the prevention and treatment of Heartworm Disease, we cannot guarantee a dog will not show positive and require 
treatment on a heartworm test for the following year. If a dog had a positive heartworm test in the program, this information is included in the dog’s internet bio and you would have been notified the dog was treated for heartworm during its time in the program.


Condition of the Dog 

All PTKCP Dogs receive veterinary care and basic veterinary office health screenings that meet common standards of veterinary practice.  We screen each Dog for general fitness and health before allowing the Dog into PTKCP, and we provide routine health care to the Dog during its tenure in PTKCP.  However, we do not engage in any other more penetrating or intrusive evaluations of the Dog beyond general apparent health.  For example, we do not conduct blood work, test for cancers or genetic disorders, or perform laboratory analysis of the Dogs or samples from them.  

You are adopting this Dog in “as-is” condition, and you assume the risk that the Dog may have or develop a health problem or condition that is not currently known, appreciated, or discovered, even if more thorough or extensive testing and evaluation might disclose this problem or condition today.  If you wish to have the Dog undergo more extensive evaluation or testing, you may do so at your own cost. 


Our Dogs, including the Dog you are adopting, are primarily donated or surrendered from private individuals and transfers from rescue and shelter partners.   They may or may not be purebreds.  As a result, we simply do not know if the Dog has any genetic defects nor do we know if the Dog has any latent diseases or chronic injuries which may be hidden, and only appear in the future.  Because of their unknown breeding, origin, and life they may have led before entering our program we do not warrant or guarantee the present or future condition of any Dog. The Prison Trained K9 Companion Program cannot be responsible for defects such as, but not limited to eye, hip, elbow, teeth, heart or any other undiscovered health issue in the dog you are adopting.