May 27th, 2008, 10:16 AM
I haven't been around much unfortunately. I just wanted to remind everyone the seriousness of Heartworm.
We lost our 2 1/2 yr old Staff last summer due to Epilepsy and it was a nighmare. He was taken from us at a young age.
We decided we would get another dog at Christmas and so we did. We looked around and we decided on this Little Bull Mastiff who is 9 months old now. After we got all his shots and did some blood work we found out that he has heartworms. My vet said he must of contracted it last summer or fall. We did get the puppy from the St. Catherines area and apparently there was a large outbreak of Heartworm last year in this area
Anyways to make a long story short we are in shock that there is a possiblity of loosing our 9 month old puppy. The bloodwork shows high concentrations of Micro Falaria which is the larvae in the bloodstream. These Larvae live in the right chamber of the heart. The treatment for this Heartworm is just as dangerous of contracting the disease. They use arsenic injections to treat Heartworm and this is and can be very hard on the dog's heart or even worse a thrombosis. Treatment for Heartworm can be a high risk to the dog!!!!!!
So please if you think your dog is safe, please think again!!!!
Please have your animals checked especially if you live in this area of Ontario.
May 27th, 2008, 10:23 AM
I'm so sorry to hear you are going through this with you puppy. I really hope he makes it. Please keep us updated and all the best to you.:pray::fingerscr
May 31st, 2008, 11:46 AM
I am sorry about losing your dog and now your puppy having heartworms. We have had 2 dogs who had heartworms. First was in 1988 and he did not survive the treatment. The other was in 1996. She was 5 yrs old when she was treated. She survived and lived for another 5+ years. In the span of 8 years they had a better treatment. So I would hope that they have gotten even better at treating it. We had to give her pills daily, thought I don't remember for how long. We had to keep her penned up, so she would not overtax her heart (she was an outdoor dog.) Since that time all our dogs are on heartworm meidicine.
So hopefuly your puppy will survive the treatment and live for many years.
May 31st, 2008, 03:58 PM
So sorry to hear about your loss and now the heartbreaking news about the pup!
Thank you for your concern for the other dogs. All my guys get checked every year and put on the meds, I just don't want to take the chance.
One of the vets in the are puts up a sign outside that states how many cases have shown up in this area. It is astounding.
Take care of your baby and please let us know how you make out. :pawprint::grouphug::grouphug:
June 3rd, 2008, 12:19 PM
We just got Caesar (10 months old) back from the Vets yesterday and I'm very pleased and relieved his condition isn't clinical or critical, although he has the heartworm microfalaria count of 100.
We decided not to go the route of using an arsenic based injections. This treatment is extremely hard on the dog and approx 5% don't survive this course of action.
I went to 3 vets and all 3 had different approaches. I was shocked that my regular vet sent me to a cardiologist. He made a comment that caught my attention when he said, "I've only done 1 treatment in 30 yrs". A red flag went up and I started getting nervous due to this comment. Anyways I took Caesar to the referral and they looked at my pup and then came back with a pricelist for the arsenic based approach. This is a facility that is brand new and a very state of the art set up for animals. On this pricelist it showed all the fees just to look at him. The chest X-ray was $450!!!!! The grand total including the arsenic based treatment was $2,500.00 I sat there and looked over this enormous bill and ended up walking out. As I drove out I noticed the vets parking spots all had Jag's and BMW's in their respective spots.LOL
From what I've gathered in my research it is hit and miss for the treatment of heartworm. Especially if there are worms are in the right side chamber of the heart. You can go this way of the injections which is very expensive and you may end up with a very poor outcome as in loosing your pet.
We didn't want to take this chance as we lost our 2 1/2 yr old American Staff to Seizures due to epilepsy last summer. To say the least it really upset my 2 boys who are 10yrs old and 12 yrs old. To make a really long story short.
PLEASE HAVE YOUR DOG CHECKED!!!!!!!
We bought Caesar in December when he was 4 months old. We are approaching heartworm season and a lot of people think it will never happen to your dog. It can and will as Southern Ontario had 300 something positives last season. The prior years showed only 1 or 2 cases in this province!!!!
No one checks for Heartworm in the middle of winter as in Dec when we got him. The only way he could of been infected is when he was months 2 old, as he was born in July 2007.
These heartworms can grow up to 14" in length and when they die off they also have a bacteria that can infect the dog. So he's on anti-biotics and were using the Heartguard (ivermectin/pyrantel) to treat the heartworm and he will have to stay on this for almost 2 yrs.
That's our story and experience with heartworm. It pays to ask a lot of questions and do some research. It was by chance we caught the heartworm when we did. At least the chest X-rays showed no evidence of the adult worms. A $200 chest X-ray vs a $450 chest X-ray. Mmmmm no wonder so many Vets are taking it on the chin about outragous vet bills. When you have a 150% to 300% mark up on meds and other procedures it makes you think it's time someone stepped in to regulate this craziness.
Thank God I found a vet who took the time and showed the compassion that was required during this very scary experience.
Thanks for the support and kind words. He's not completely out of the woods but he's on the road to recovery.