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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A heartworm positive male was dropped off at the shelter in my city and I'm thinking about adopting him. I think he is approx 5 yrs old. Today I went and saw him and made a donation to his treatment. I was only wanting to donate, but now I'm thinking I want him. I currently have a 9 yr old female Dobie.

I'm worried about the heartworm treatment. My girlfriend adopted a Jack Russell before with HW and after treatment and I think a month or more in a crate and on Valium the dog died. We never let the dog run or get excited, but it did dig at the create and somehow the 10mg valium didn't calm the little guy down. The vet said he thinks a worm broke off and went to the lung :mad:

Is there a point of no return with heartworms? I've been reading a lot about the treatment but only have that one awful experince with it. Also I just don't know if I could bear keeping the dog crated for so long even though I know he needs it to save his life..

Any thoughts? I want to help....

Here he is below...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Hilary. I'm going to take everyone's advise to heart and do my best. He didn't want to go back in the kennel. When I walked into the kennel, he followed me... Kind of broke my heart
 

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joie de vivre
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Meadowcat rescued Simon when he was HW positive and he made it through the treatment. He was older than 5. You might PM her for her thoughts or hopefully she'll see this thread and respond.

He's a handsome boy. I'm sure he easily stole your heart in person.
 

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You can have his heart/lungs x-rayed to see how bad the heartworm disease is. If it's light positive you can do the slow kill method which is monthly heartgard. I have taken many dogs in rescue through HW treatment over 6 years now(hard kill, arsenic) and have not lost a single one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You can have his heart/lungs x-rayed to see how bad the heartworm disease is. If it's light positive you can do the slow kill method which is monthly heartgard. I have taken many dogs in rescue through HW treatment over 6 years now(hard kill, arsenic) and have not lost a single one.
Wow.. I wonder what we did wrong to lose the Jack Russell. That is great news to hear you have not lost one. Thanks for the advice. I may speak with the shelter and my vet about what I may be able to do for this guy..
 

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Wow.. I wonder what we did wrong to lose the Jack Russell. That is great news to hear you have not lost one. Thanks for the advice. I may speak with the shelter and my vet about what I may be able to do for this guy..
I can imagine a JRT would be hard to keep calm on crate rest...all the digging and moving around probably made the worms go into the organs as they were dying off and that's what did it.


Some encouragement...this is a male GSD I pulled from a shelter last year. He was emaciated, had sarcoptic mange, was intact, flea ridden, and HW positive.

Mg6vHmoQqjk


He made it through everything, HW treatment included, and this is him now in his new home. His foster parent adopted him:

 

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I adopted Simon when he was eight years old and he tested heartworm positive the week after adoption.

I would recommend before treatment that you get a chest x-ray to see the extent of the damage. Simon had (well, has) some mild lung damage and a slightly enlarged heart due to the heartworms. It's two months of crate rest for heartworm treatment. If you're going to do it, take it seriously and do not allow them to be active whatsoever. That means leashed potty breaks, etc. You'll want to be SURE you are working with a great vet who is familiar with the most up-to-date heartworm treatment protocol. There is sometimes an option for the slow-kill method, but I personally wouldn't choose it. The newest protocol for heartworm treatment can be found here: American Heartworm Society | Canine Heartworm. Basically, you start with a month of doxycycline prior to any heartworm treatment. Then, you'll do two months of heartworm killing drugs, often with a side of Prednizone. One shot, a month of crate rest, and then two shots in a row with another month of crate rest. Additionally, you'll need to keep the dog quiet from the beginning, even before the official crate rest time.

It's long, and it can be scary, but Simon came through it with literally no complications (other than the permanent damage from having heartworms in the first place). If you have a great vet it will likely be just fine. There's always a risk, of course, and it depends a lot on how progressed the heartworm is. Some dogs do die, but the vast majority come through the treatment.

For a while there was a serious shortage of the heartworm treatment drug, so you may want to check on the availability with your vet.

I wouldn't hesitate to do it again, but it's a LONG two months with no activity. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank You MeadowCat for so much insight. 2 months crate rest! Wow! Did Simon go stir-crazy? I'm just trying to figure out how I would keep my other Dobie from trying to play with the new guy during that long of a time.

There are alot of thoughts going through my head, I'm going to think on everything and make a decision by Saturday. If I decide to go ahead and he is still there, he will have a new home with the help and advice from DT.com

Thanks,
Tom
 

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Dobes Dobles +1
Lanah Chi-Cairn X 6 y/o, RIP Eva HADR Rescue Dobe, Sunking's Spock, Lillah Chi-Terrier X
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Thanks for considering a rescue Dobe, especially HW positive!
Best of luck with whatever your decision is....


Our Lillah (Chi-Terrier X) was 7 yrs. old and HW positive when we adopted her from a rescue shelter in Austin. She had been roaming the streets with another Chi male, also had HW. They both got picked up by A/C then later moved to a no-kill shelter. Her companion died, but our Lillah went through the hard HW treatments and survived- still going strong at a spry 15 yrs. old! There are no lingering effects except for an enlarged heart (she's chesty).

We think living with (or should I say controlling) our Dobe, Spock, for the last 2-years has kept her young! She doesn't actively play with him, just joust for control of her chair. I take them on daily walks and they do great together, side by side. She has a touch of arthritis in her back legs now, but she's on Rimadyl daily. Lillah becomes the "Queen Alpha Bitch" at the dog park and tries to run all the packs!

Here's a little photo montage:


LILLAH at City Pound on Death Row




LILLAH and companion were roaming streets of Austin




The Face We Fell In Love With!



LILLAH's "Beauty Shot" Many Years Later




Ready to Go on a WALK!!




WhoDa Alpha Bitch Here?!




A Love-Hate Relationship...




She's Still Our "Little Baby" (No Matter How Fiesty)
:)
 

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Thank You MeadowCat for so much insight. 2 months crate rest! Wow! Did Simon go stir-crazy? I'm just trying to figure out how I would keep my other Dobie from trying to play with the new guy during that long of a time.

There are alot of thoughts going through my head, I'm going to think on everything and make a decision by Saturday. If I decide to go ahead and he is still there, he will have a new home with the help and advice from DT.com

Thanks,
Tom
Simon didn't have too much trouble with the crate rest. He's fairly low energy at his age. At first it was hard for them not to play. Then, they got used to it. It took a while for them to go BACK to playing together once he was cleared. It had been so long, and they were used to me keeping them apart, that it took some time. But it worked out fine and they play together all the time.
 

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Thank You MeadowCat for so much insight. 2 months crate rest! Wow! Did Simon go stir-crazy? I'm just trying to figure out how I would keep my other Dobie from trying to play with the new guy during that long of a time.

There are alot of thoughts going through my head, I'm going to think on everything and make a decision by Saturday. If I decide to go ahead and he is still there, he will have a new home with the help and advice from DT.com

Thanks,
Tom
I think you have a "feeling" that you could help this, otherwise, hopeless animal and could. Maybe, it's a journey you are supposed to take. Is there an additional room you could set up as a quiet space? Maybe, an extra bedroom, or back room that is not being used? Or, an area that is away from all the traffic of your day to day activity? Is there a place where your other dog doesn't need to be exposed to? I think it would be challenging for a pup to be in a crate, when another dog is bouncing around.... Good luck to you!
 

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Holier Than Now
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Ditto on starting the doxy first, then the accompanying pred during the tx.

Bless you for considering helping this obviously cool dude to go thru recovery.

I do understand it's not a decision to take lightly, but if you feel a connection...well, everything else is just logistics :p

I had no plans nor intentions of harboring a feral cat, but she showed up underneath my car, severely emaciated and HBC at least two weeks prior, with festering wounds and a fractured pelvis.

Keeping an essentially wild animal quiet on cage rest has been...interesting. And I doubt this Doberboy will be trying to occasionally take you out of this world, as the feral cat does me, hehe.

But hey, watching them heal, knowing you got to help them during that time--it can also be very rewarding. And it keeps you thinking creatively--coming up with ways to entertain them when they start feeling better :D

Please do let us know what you decide.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Thanks Everyone. I will let you know what happens this Saturday. There are a lot of people interested in him. One older couple told me that they have had 3 Dobermans through out their life with their last one living to 15. I can at least tell you, I will not let him get put down.. :)
 

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My beloved 1st doberman, a male, was an emaciated rescue reject due to heartworms.

He had to be treated twice. 1st time was the old fashioned way(early 90's), the second w/the shot.
I've been told the old way wasn't reliable....but no one caught it until I rushed him in for coughing, despite him being on hw preventative the whole time I had him.

I hope there's an improved across the board protocol and screening since those days.
Best wishes on your decision.
 

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Update? Don't leave us hanging!
 
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Yeah update please! The stray bully mix my boyfriend and I picked up off the highway is HW positive and we will be starting his injections soon so we're going through the motions with ya.
Slightly OT - ZR, are you doing a month of doxy first? It *really* makes a difference. I also think that having Simon on prednisone made a big difference in how well he did throughout the treatment. It was a bit of a pain (lots of pee breaks!), but I think it helped him out significantly.
 
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