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  #1  
Old June 9th, 2007, 12:37 PM
2bigdogs 2bigdogs is offline
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Heartworm treatment?

We've just returned from the vets office where we took our 2 dogs for their annual check up...they BOTH have tested positive for heatworm...we are just beside ourselves with fear, sadness and guilt. We don't know 100% untill monday as they did a second blood test that will go to the lab. We're really scared and don't really know what this means for our dogs. They both appear happy, healthy and energetic...we were NOT expecting this at all...
Can anyone give me an idea of the seriousness of this...whats involved in the treatment? Our vet was very cautious about telling us too much untill Monday but we need to know what we are up against. I think its highly unlikely there would be 2 false positives...we're really scared...any info would be greatly appricicated..we did read the heartworm article here on pets.ca but there was no info on the treatment...thanks...
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Old June 9th, 2007, 04:01 PM
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Dr Lee Dr Lee is offline
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Here is a great resource site:

http://www.heartwormsociety.org/


It has on the lower right side a list of common questions for pet owners.

good luck.
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Old June 9th, 2007, 11:26 PM
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2bigdogs, I adopted a rescue dog and find out later he was positive , he didn't have any signs , like your dogs, so it's not too late ! Bailey is on Heartguard all year round for 3-4 years.
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Old June 10th, 2007, 05:29 PM
2bigdogs 2bigdogs is offline
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Thank you Dr. for the link re: treatment. It appears that heartworm is very treatable. Both our dogs are very active and outside quite a bit so we have been using Advantage. We bought 1 box of meds for the both dogs with the idea to purchase the second box at a later date...then proceeded to completely forget to buy the second one..we feel guilty...we're human...but we'll never forget again...
Thanks for your support Frenchy, did your dog need to be hospitalized? was there any side affects?
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Old June 10th, 2007, 05:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2bigdogs View Post
Thanks for your support Frenchy, did your dog need to be hospitalized? was there any side affects?
Not at all, you would never know he's positive. I guess it was caught soon enough. But it is a long process to get red of the worms.
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Old June 11th, 2007, 01:26 PM
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i_have_too_many i_have_too_many is offline
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A couple years ago one of our dogs tested positive. Since he had been given to us we did not know his background, and being 10 already we did not want to treat him too harshly. Our vet gave us 3 options.

1. surgery, costly and difficult for an older dog to recover
2. heavy dose of meds, which was going to be very hard on his other organs, so we decided no.
3 the option we chose was to keep him on regular heartworm meds for a full year.

This is how our vet explained it to us. The meds will make the worms he does have sterile, so that he can not infect other dogs, or re-infect himself. Eventually the worms will just die of old age and his body will absorb them. If you choose to do the dose of heavy meds it kills all the worms at once, for a young dog this is not so much of a worry, but in older dogs, a large amount of dead worms could cause a clot, and that could kill the dog. This can be an aceptabe way to treat a younger dog, or one that only has a few worms, but it is difficult to determine just how bad the infestation is.

The next year we re-tested him, negative ever since. The year he tested positive, the vet drew blood and sent it into a lab for them to look at under a microscope, that was a definate positive. He was re-tested twice the next year, just to make sure that it was not a wrong test.

It is a good thing you cought it before the dog started to show symptoms. It can be treated, good luck
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Old June 11th, 2007, 01:31 PM
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So sorry that your dogs have tested positive. Sending good thoughts your way
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  #8  
Old June 11th, 2007, 01:44 PM
2bigdogs 2bigdogs is offline
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i_have_too_many- thanks for your reply and information. Sounds like you've been through this before with a good outcome. Thanks for sharing with me...
I knew about the first 2 option but never knew for an older dog the option of taking the preventitive meds and waiting it out...both our dogs are fairly young- 2 yrs and 4 1/2 yrs...here 's our update:

I went to the vet today and learned that the second blood test resulted in both dogs being negative! ...hmmm..??? Now both blood samples are being sent to Michigan for more detailed testing, we'll find out Friday. Our vet says its strange to have both dogs test positive then both negative...not sure what thats all about but we'll wait to begin the Advantage meds untill next week and hope they really are both negative...

I'll keep you posted, everyone...and thanks again...I'm grateful for your support and info....
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  #9  
Old June 11th, 2007, 01:54 PM
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What a yucky roller-coaster ride! I hope the tests ARE negative, and everything turns out ok for your furkids!!!
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  #10  
Old June 11th, 2007, 02:32 PM
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I'll say that's a roller-coaster ride! Must be so frustrating! I don't do the waiting thing too well...

I hope this last test confirms that your fur kids are negative for heartworm. But at least the cure would be pretty simple if they were positive!
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  #11  
Old June 11th, 2007, 04:18 PM
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Did you get the results back yet? Sending lots of good luck your way.
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  #12  
Old June 11th, 2007, 04:24 PM
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Hmmmm that is strange. I wonder if there is a component in the Advantage which might have caused the false positive.

from all of us here.
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  #13  
Old June 12th, 2007, 02:36 PM
2bigdogs 2bigdogs is offline
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Hey everyone...thanks again for your support and for keeping your fingers crossed. Today is Tuesday and theres no word yet. My dogs seem ok...yes, they are sometimes panting ALOT...but then its hot out and we do walk briskly...hmm...not sure whether the Advantage..has anything to do with the results..both dogs haven't been on it for a few months...like I said...this is what makes us feel so guilty...but you never know...I'll keep you all posted.
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  #14  
Old June 12th, 2007, 02:56 PM
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__________________
Owned by:
Solomon - black DSH - king of kitchen raids (11)
Gracie - Mutterooski X - scary smart (9)
Jaida - GSD - tripod trainwreck and gentle soul (4)
Heidi - mugsly Boston Terrier X - she is in BIG trouble!!! (3)
Audrey - torbie - sweet as pie (11 months)
Patrick - blue - a little turd (but we like him anyways) (6 months)
__________
Boo, our Matriarch (August 1 1992 - March 29 2011)
Riley and Molly
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  #15  
Old June 13th, 2007, 01:54 PM
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You also may wish to consult with a holistic veterinarian.
There are other alternatives, and preventative measures that do not include surgery or poison (meds).

Good luck!
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  #16  
Old July 22nd, 2007, 06:17 PM
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Stella just tested 'weak positive' and the doc says that sometimes when caught early it can be asymptomatic, but im crossing my fingers that its false positive. Good to see that some other folks have had false positive tests.

She was retested on saturday and ill know shortly.

Very few cases of heartworms here in southern arizona because of so few mosquitos, but who knows where she was originally rescued from. At 1 1/2 years old the treatment shouldnt be too bad if the 2nd test comes back pos, but ... lets hope not.
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