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Heartworm- contagious to other dogs?

June 4th, 2006, 11:23 AM
Last night a rescue asked us to foster a dog that's mildly heartworm positive. She just flew up here from the States and she's an absolute doll. However, she was kept outside tied to a tire for years and, as a result, is extremely fearful and incredibly matted. We just fell in love with her, but I don't know a lot about heartworm. There isn't much heartworm here in Alberta and a lot of people don't even put their dog on preventative, but since we go to the cabin in B.C. mine get preventative. However, other than getting them tested and giving them their medicine, I really don't know much about it. Mocha's been getting preventative every summer, Panna has been since we had her, and since we don't know if Cannelle was last summer, she's getting tested this week then going on preventative.

Is heartworm only transferable through mosquitoes? Would my dogs be at any risk if I brought a heartworm positive dog into my house? Would the dog be able to come to the cabin if there's a risk that she'd be exposed to heartworm? We were told that once she started treatment, she'd just need a lot of crate rest to expell the worms from her body successfully; what else is involved in the treatment?

She's an absolute doll and it broke our hearts to leave her last night, but I just want to make sure I'm prepared and I won't be putting my dogs at any risk by fostering her.

By the way, here's the little sweetie :D:

Lucky Rescue
June 4th, 2006, 11:35 AM
Heartworms are transmittable only by mosquitos. If a misquito bites an infected dog and sucks up some microfillaria, then moves on to another dog it will inject those microfillaria into that dog.

But if your dogs are on preventative, don't worry!

Yes, the new dog will need to rest while she's being treated, as vigorous exercise could pump the dying worms into her lungs or elsewhere. Leash walks are okay.

She is just adorable, poor baby!

June 4th, 2006, 02:25 PM
Pretty girl as long as your pups are one preventative they will be fine
here is info about

June 9th, 2006, 08:31 PM
Thanks so much for taking the time to respond and look for websites for me :)!

Well, I'm picking her up tonight! I had hoped to start fostering her on Wednesday, but she had to stay at the vet's for two nights. She got a blood panel, urinalysis (her urine is very yellow so they suspect a bladder infection), and x-rays. Her blood panel results came back good, we're still waiting for her urinalysis results, and her x-rays showed that her leg had been broken and the pins they put in are too big. As a result, they've actually been poking out and they'll have to go in there and fix it, but they have to be sure that she'll be able to be anesthetized.

I'm also taking her for an ultrasound on Monday. Her heart is slightly enlarged and it seems to have a funny beat to it, so they think it might be a heart murmur. Depending on the results, they said that the vet might have to go in and operate on her heart.

Also, since she's so small, they think that instead of giving her two injections in 24 hours they're going to give her milder injections every week to kill the worms slowly. They'll decide on a final plan of treatment after her ultrasound results though.

I can't wait! I'll be sure to post pictures as soon as she gets here :D.

June 10th, 2006, 11:35 AM
Poor little dog,last owners surely didn't take good care of her.Good luck and we all have our paws X!:fingerscr Hope she will be allright.

June 16th, 2006, 09:23 PM
Unfortunately, extensive tests in the last day have indicated the heartworm isn't mild at all. It has travelled to most of her organs, including her liver, bladder, and lungs, and even if they were able to get rid of the worms, her organs have suffered far too much damage that she had no chance of survival. With opinions from two vets, my little Pumkin will be put to sleep tomorrow at 2:00 pm.

She must be in so much pain, yet she always wanted to play and was always twirling around whenever someone came home. She had come so far in the last week and we could see such a change in her. Please keep her in your thoughts.

RIP, my beautiful girl. Run and play without any health problems and a perfect little leg. I pray that whoever mistreated you will eventually get what they deserve.

You deserved so much better.

June 16th, 2006, 10:28 PM
I'm so sorry but thank you for giving all the love you could to her in such a short amount of time. I'd been hoping for better news for you :grouphug:

June 17th, 2006, 10:04 AM
I too was hoping for better news,:sorry:

June 17th, 2006, 05:20 PM
I just saw this thread. How sad that such a sweet little dog was treated so shabbily. What makes me doubly sad is that she looks so much like a little dog that my parents adopted after seeing a man push her out of his car. Thank you for caring for her and making the last days of her life be filled with love. I too hope her previous owners reap what they deserve and that you also are someday rewarded for what you have done.

June 19th, 2006, 07:36 PM
Thank you for all of the nice replies.

She blessed my life so much during the few days she was with me and she taught us so much. I just can't believe that she lost her life due to a condition that's 100% preventable :(.

June 19th, 2006, 09:02 PM
Im so sorry for your loss...I'm glad she went over the bridge in loving arms

June 20th, 2006, 01:17 AM
I saw her in the other pic thread. She was a beautiful doggy. I'm so sorry she didn't get her chance.:sad: :grouphug:

June 21st, 2006, 07:44 AM
I'm so very sorry for your loss. :grouphug:

June 23rd, 2006, 03:21 PM
Thanks everyone.

I feel so bad for the adoptive family we had lined up and everything. It's been almost a week now though, and I know that she would be in unbearable pain if she had not been sent to the Bridge.

I'm so grateful to the wonderful rescue for giving her the chance to come up here and for making her part of my life. She was such a strong, wonderful little girl.

July 4th, 2017, 07:14 AM
I saw this post, and I am terribly sorry for your loss. We just adopted a dog with heartworms to give him the best life possible and lots of love, while going through his treatment. We just adopted him yesterday, so we are not sure how serious the disease is. We are praying for the best, and expecting the worst. This post has really put my mind at ease about bringing him into the house with my other fur baby, Lucy. It makes me sick at the thought of losing him due to the neglect he was given in his previous home.

July 4th, 2017, 10:40 AM
Charlie is a cutie-pie, Achapel! :lovestruck: I'll say a little prayer for him and you! When will you find out the extent of his disease?

July 5th, 2017, 02:44 PM
Thank you! He is starting to love us!! We are taking him for a basic examination today and physical! I am going to ask that they check and see! Thank you so much for keeping him in your prayers! He has been coughing and sneezing a lot, so I hope it's not too bad. I am disappointed that the animal shelter didn't see how bad it was or plan to start treatment before sending him out for adoption! Here's a picture of his July 4th attire!

July 5th, 2017, 04:40 PM
He's just downright gorgeous! Happy 4th, Charlie--I think your luck has changed for the better! :D

Keep us posted, pls!

July 6th, 2017, 11:34 AM
Thank You!!

Update on Charlie: His heartworms are not at a severe level! He is on the scale around +1 for heartworms, and as soon as we finish our move he is going to start treatment! There are no microfilariae in his bloodstream!

He has ear infections and the vet preferred to handle that first since it was awful! She said to take care of one thing at a time especially with the move, we do not want to do too much at once! His poor ears were swollen shut and he had bacterial and fungal infections in both of his ears. After just one day of medication, he is doing much better! He is bouncing around and playing more! The swelling is also going down in his ears! We are hoping after the round of antibiotics and steroids the ears will be as good as new! That way we can keep our focus on BEATING HEARTWORMS!

July 6th, 2017, 03:45 PM
Good news about the heartworms! Yay!! That's a relief!

Sorry about the ears, though. Ear infections can be so miserable. He must be feeling loads better already!