One of my dogs has heartworms

haggardfan1

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Since my family moved on to better things in August of last year, I have rediscovered myself, gotten a new job (and career), and turned my attention to the two dogs out of five that I ended up with. These are my black Lab, Flash, who some of you know...and Ava, a mostly border collie that I've had for probably two years. Many of you have seen pictures of them both.

Among the other things I've done with my newfound freedom, I've started training these two dogs pretty intensively using the methods of Brandon McMillan, of Lucky Dog TV fame. If you have a dog with issues, watch some of his YouTube videos and you'll see what I mean.

Something else I've done is get a comprehensive vet exam for both dogs, and all vaccinations current. Sometimes I get their shots from a local spay/neuter organization that provides them at a fraction of vet cost, but this year I decided to get both dogs a 10,000 mile checkup, if you will. I'd like to add that their heartworm and flea/tick prevention has been constant throughout this transition.

Flash passed his with flying colors.

The gut punch came when I was told that Ava has heartworms. They have not yet affected her to the point that the vet detected any heart or lung issues, but she did test positive from initial blood work.

The clinic has a treatment plan in place, which they claim has good results, especially in young healthy dogs which Ava is. It involves ProHeart 12 and doxycycline, an antibiotic.

First, wish us luck, or prayers if you got 'em. This dog was a rescued stray and bonded with me in the car before we ever got her home. Velcro dog. I don't know if I've ever had a sweeter more affectionate dog in my life.

Second: does anybody have recent experience with this issue? I lost a dog to heartworms--or the treatment--while in college, but that was forty years ago.

She's a sweetheart and I'll post a picture or two in a bit.

I'd appreciate any input...we found out Friday and she gets her first treatment tomorrow afternoon.

😔
 

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max_twang

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Check out the info at the American Heartworm Society:


Here's a link to a client education handout:


Treatment of heart worm disease usually involves a drug called melarsamine, in addition to prednisone and doxycycline.

Proheart 12 is a heart worm preventative. While getting an infected pup on preventative is an important step in treatment, I've not heard of Proheart 12 being used for this purpose. Usually, Heartgard or a similar product is used IME.

Make sure the vet you are using is familiar with the treatment protocol -- it's laid out well at the Heartworm Society website.

Good luck, and keep your pets on heart worm preventative -- the southern states are heart worm central!
 

Telekarster

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I had a dog many years ago that was afflicted and she survived it just fine. In fact, you'd have never known she had em. I'm sure your vet will be able to hook her up with the right stuff. Good luck man, and best wishes! Congrats on the new life too man!! That's pretty darn cool ;)
 

mexicanyella

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Our vet’s approach involves 30 days of twice-daily Doxycycline doses, which makes the heart worms more “vulnerable” to the injections to follow, followed by multiple staged injections, then a re-test to make sure all life stages of the organisms got eradicated. The dog’s activity level needs to be kept low, especially after the injections start, because the worry is that dying/decomposing adult heart worms can act like blood clots and break off, pile up and act like blood clots if the dog’s heart rate gets elevated.

But we’ve taken in multiple dogs over the years that tested heartworm positive and they survived the treatment. Some are easier to keep quiet for weeks on end than others though.
 

ChicknPickn

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We took in a stray, a little dachsund/beagle mix. She immediately popped positive for heartworms. Our vet was confidence-inspiring and suggested we move forward with conventional treatment. Two applications were required. She lived a good, long life, and was very active. This was 20 years ago.
 

memorex

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Good luck with your dog. We've always kept our dogs on Heartguard and none of them has ever tested positive for heartworms. I'm sure it's a bigger problem down South.
 

ruger9

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Dogs are like kids. You need to out the same effort into finding the right vet as you do to find the right pediatrician. And buy insurance. We don’t think twice about bringing our dogs to the vet and they’re in better health for it.
+1 on pet insurance. It only takes ONE incident (like a broken leg, or even a broken toe) to pay for itself.
 

rjtwangs

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No, I have no experience with your situation. I just wanted to wish you and Ava both the best of luck and speedy back to good health!! I think some of you folks probably know how much I love my Sophie, now 10 months old, so we are with you two and wish you well....

RJ and Sophie
For her veterinary needs I got a Care Credit, credit card, it can only be used at the vet or your personal Dr. It's for medical needs only. I got it for Sophie when she was spayed, it really comes in handy.I can also use it at her vet to buy her food...a thirty pound bag of Science Diet, Large Breed Puppy food is not cheap so again, the card comes in handy!! Just a thought....
 
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soundchaser59

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So sorry you have to deal with this. But I can say that every dog I have heard of having heartworms has been treated and released successfully. They caution it's not easy and it's not cheap, but it does work.

We have given our dogs heartgard over the last 20 years and have never had a positive test, but we have never rescued a true stray either. We rescue from the city dog jail where they have already been tested and given basic shots.

Bless you for wanting to do the right things for the dawggies!
 

Greggorios

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So very sorry to hear. Best wishes to you and Ava for her speedy recovery. All of our dogs were/are on Heartguard and, so far, have never had a positive test. My only thought would be as @max_twang pointed out above is that the literature on ProHeart12 indicates it as a preventative treatment. I'm guessing that double checking with your vet and/or others might clarify this. Lot's of us pullin' for your girl-my family had a "mostly border collie" many years ago-he was one of the best dogs I've had the joy of knowing-smart, loving and a wonderful best friend. Good luck.
 




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