Oh no! Heartworms

grandmapoo(z8 S.Texas)March 30, 2009

My newly adopted dog, Abby has tested positive for heartworms. I am so sadded by this news b/c last year we went through a lot of grief over Tippy's illness and loss. Abby has been a blessing.

The vet just called and said more bloodwork, and x-rays must be done. Then based on those, Abby will be give two injections in her back and will have to be kept exercise free for two months. Has anyone been through this before and what do I expect?


A sad Poo

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
chickadeedeedee(z 6-7 ish Ohio)

Ohhhhhhhhhhh ..Poo! I'm soooo sorry! :-(

The x-rays are to make sure the heart is not too enlarged / damaged from the worms. The blood work is to make sure there isn't other organ system failure because of a compromised heart.

The intramuscular injections will kill the adult heartworms. There's no way to remove the worms from the body so Abby's immune system needs to break down the dead worms.... hence the two months of enforced rest. If she goes out for a run during this time, there's the chance a piece of dead heartworm may break away and cause a true heart attack or a true stroke if an important blood vessel gets blocked.

If the worm burden is large, your vet might modify the treatment and make the time between the injections longer. We've only had one dog get sick following the heartworm treatment but a few days on IV fluids and treated for vomiting fixed him good as new.

Chances are *very* good that Abby will be fine! *HUGS*


    Bookmark   March 30, 2009 at 2:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
grandmapoo(z8 S.Texas)

Oh, what encouraging words! Thank you so much. If I could I'd reach through and hug you back, I would!

I'm waiting for a call back for appt. and estimate of charges.
Maybe it won't be too bad if her condition is not too complicated.
Thanks again C3D :)

    Bookmark   March 30, 2009 at 2:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Dear Poo,

Our Doxie mix had heartworms when we adopted him. He went thru the injections and the plan was to keep him crated and restrict his activity to very, very short trips to potty with us carrying him outside. This activity restriction was to last 3 months.

Kosmo would not have any of this and took to fits in the crate. So we had to let him out of the crate and try to keep him from playing with the other dog. It was not easy and one time I had to take him to the Emergency vet when I thought he threw a clot or an emboli broke loose. He began to pant, cough, his gums were pale. But he got some intradermal fluids and came home that night.

He became active, and playful and a much loved part of the family after the treatment. We had to have him stay at the vet for observation when he started his monthly heartworm treatment for the first time. He was fine though. I think the whole experience helped us bond closer. He is a happy clown in our family circus. I enclose a link for a story my husband had published in Cleveland Magazine about him. I was terrified of the treatment and the time it took, but would definately do it again if needed.

Best of Luck,

Here is a link that might be useful: And the Weiner Is,,,,,,

    Bookmark   March 30, 2009 at 8:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
catherinet(5 IN)

Oh gee Grandmapoo, that's really unfortunate. But maybe things will go as good as C3D suggests. I'll keep my fingers crossed for Abby and you!

    Bookmark   March 30, 2009 at 8:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sheepco(MN z4)


Best of luck with Abby! The treatment for Heartworm Disease is so much safer than years ago. I can only remember 1 dog that had real trouble with treatment - a 12 year old German Shorthair that had a severe case. The vets chose to spread his treatments out as C3D explained, he got pneumonia, but he came through it to live to be 15 1/2! The rest of our patients have come thru with very few problems at all. And I agree, keeping them quiet is the biggest challenge!

Good luck, Sarah

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 8:47AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
grandmapoo(z8 S.Texas)

Lisa, cute story. My Abby is a daschund mix and also appears to smile. :)

Thank you all for the encouragement.
I have a huge problem with the costs though. We can't afford it unless we are able to get a no interest credit card. I knew it was going to be expensive, but not that expensive. When I told the vet, she told me I could use Hearguard treatment and it would prevent any more adults, which she tested positive for, so I started her on that. She said the adults die off in 3 to 6 yrs and that Abby has a good chance of testing negative in a couple of years without the injections. Since she is only 2 and very healthy she said theres a good chance she will not become ill as the adults begin to die off later, but also explained signs to watch for. *VERY SCARY*
I'm so anxious over trying to decide if she'll be ok just on the Heartguard. A no interest credit card for 6 months will be the answer, if that's possible, so keep us in your prayers. Thank you.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 11:42AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
chickadeedeedee(z 6-7 ish Ohio)

Hiya Poo. :-)

Sounds like a *very* reasonable plan for Miss Abby. No more adult heartworms will set up housekeeping in the heart and she won't be a source of baby heartworms for neighbouring dogs. You might want to discuss with your vet giving Abby some aspirin in addition to the Heartgard.  Because of the worms, there's increased turbulance in the heart and a slight increased risk of clot formation. The aspirin may reduce the risk of those forming.

Someone brought in an 11 yr. old dog with heartworms this morning. She cannot afford to treat the dog so we decided to treat her just like Abby ... Heartgard and spoiling her! Nothing wrong with that. :-)

I have NO doubt Abby will be 113% okee-dokee.

As with anything ... check with YOUR vet before you start doing anything different because you read something posted by a nameless / faceless anyone on the Internet.Â

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 2:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
grandmapoo(z8 S.Texas)

C3D Thank you, thank you, thank you for backing up what my vet said. I always thought heartworms meant sure doom for the poor animal that had them.

Gosh, it sounds like the injection treatment is more risk or now am I over confident???? I guess both ways is a calculated risk based on many factors. Well, I do hope and pray Abby will be fine. Since giving her the heartguard 3 days ago, she has shown no signs of distress. And yes, she is spoiled to the MAX already, sleeping with us, riding in the car, eating with us...ahhhhh, she is a God send.
Poo :)

    Bookmark   April 1, 2009 at 10:05AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
grandmapoo(z8 S.Texas)

Update on Abby...
She has been doing well, learning her commands,etc. until suddenly she started having blood in her bm. Parasites it seemed were the culprit. Vet treated her and bm's went back to normal in about a week.

Then, suddenly after 1 mo. she is eating grass, throwing up and there is blood in her bm's again. She has gotten into the kitty box a few times since we've gotten her and now I wonder if the kitty litter is causing the symptoms. Maybe the parasites weren't causing the blood.

Vet said as long as she is keeping any food down and drinking and having bm's, nothing to worry about...but I am worried. It's the 4th day and she is still sick.

Suggestions/knowledge to share? Thanks.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2009 at 2:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
chickadeedeedee(z 6-7 ish Ohio)

Hi Poo³.

Kitty litter can be the cause for blood in the poop since it is irritating going through. I'd get another poop check to see if all the parasites are gone. If that is clear maybe some Metronidazole could be used. It is an antibiotic for non-specific GI tract issues as well as an anti-inflammitory for the intestines and just makes them feel better.

Boiled rice with boiled chicken and add 50% pedialyte or gatorade to the drinking water will help too.

Glad that Abby is otherwise a happy Poo-Camper! :-)

    Bookmark   May 1, 2009 at 9:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
grandmapoo(z8 S.Texas)

Thanks C3D, but...
Terrible news...
This has been a nightmare adopting a new dog, getting attached and Friday, she viciously attacked my hand while pulling a sticker from her paw. It's not the first time she has bitten me, but this was a head shaking attack. I have never screamed so loud in my life! I had to go to the emergency room and they had to report it (yes, even if was my own dog and she had her rabbi shot). Then the shelter called me and we were required to take Abby back to the shelter (not that I wouldn't have done it anyway).

I have no doubt what her fate will be. They said they will list her as a biter, so that gives some hope. I told them she is unpredictable and should in no way be around children. She was very finicky about her feet and God only knows what worse could happen.

I don't know how to feel right now, but depressed. She was a good lap dog for me and I can't understand how in an instant a dog can turn on a person that gives them love and care. I try to understand it as fear in her and I do forgive her. I will remember her the way she brought me comfort. It the best, I know.

Just thought I should give this update.
Poo (By the way, while I'm updating it's now Poo to the 4th power)

    Bookmark   May 6, 2009 at 11:55AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
chickadeedeedee(z 6-7 ish Ohio)

Awwwwwwww Poooo! I'm so sorry that Abby did that to you! :*( Hope that you're OK.

Our Crazy Daisy bit me without warning or reason while clipping her nails not long after she came to live here. The bite itself didn't hurt anywhere near the pain of hurting my feelings. Still don't 113% trust her. :-( I hope Abby can ~work out~ her issues and find a home. At least she has a chance ... the rest is up to her!

    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 7:49AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
grandmapoo(z8 S.Texas)

Amelia is 3 mos. old now. The parents are separated now. Life has been really tough lately, hence the silent Poo.
Thanks C3D. Chin up, right?!

    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 12:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
chickadeedeedee(z 6-7 ish Ohio)

Soooo sorry to hear that life has hit a rough patch for the Poo family. :-(
I'm sure little Amelia (*very* pretty name!) helps to see you through it all.

Things have been rough in one way or another for a few of the Ponders in recent times, us included. Many Ponders are kinda silent.

May there be better times ahead for us all. :-) (((cyber hug)))

    Bookmark   May 9, 2009 at 7:34AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
grandmapoo(z8 S.Texas)

Yes, one day at a time, right?! And LOTS of mindless activities helps too. Hard times are only as hard as what we're comparing it to. It's always good to count your blessings and realize so many others have it much harder.
Yes, Amelia is a little doll!

Here's to life and love!
Thanks for the hug.
Poo :)

    Bookmark   May 9, 2009 at 12:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Its seems that there should be a solution to the mosquito infested areas of the world that allow heart worms in pets to be a normal thing. How much longer will we allow these horrible insects to wreck havoc to our beloved pets. Lets organize a volunteer agency to fight against these miniature monsters that make our pets victims.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2014 at 11:53AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Pond Heat
What is the best method of heating water to 70 degrees...
Container water gardening step X step
Here's a weekend project for anyone that wants to add...
Herron attack
Just want to vent. The day before Christmas I went...
betta anger issues
Hi guys. I have 3 bettas 1 male 2 female. The male...
Hardiest Nelumbo?
Any idea if there is one variety of Asian Nelumbo that's...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™