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Thread: Heartworm detected

  1. #13
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    Default Re: Heartworm detected

    Thank you for all the responses and best wishes! We will definitely call for estimates and ask about the different treatments before going ahead with anything. I will post again when I have an update.

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    Default Re: Heartworm detected

    Quote Originally Posted by Ulrich View Post
    Thank you for all the responses and best wishes! We will definitely call for estimates and ask about the different treatments before going ahead with anything. I will post again when I have an update.
    Great thinking, from how you describe Murray's health & energy, you've
    got time to learn of all options.

    One poster here suggested you contact the company whose preventative
    didn't protect Murray and request they pay for his treatments, they should
    as this is EPIC fail of their product

    Prayers continuing over y'all, GOD bless & protect you & yours!


    My 1st bully, Brutus
    RIP beloved boy.

  3. #15
    Bulldog Vet in Training Become a 4 Paw Member Donnam's Avatar
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    Default Re: Heartworm detected

    Quote Originally Posted by Ulrich View Post
    We just learned that our 2 1/2 year old, Murray, has heartworm. His heartbeat is normal, and Murray's energy is good. He needs to have treatment to get rid of the adult heartworms. I'm told the first shot can be somewhat risky. I'm sad that Murray has to go through this. We gave him the heartworm meds, so we're not sure how or when he contracted this. Our vet quoted the treatment of 3 shots at around $1k. Is that the going rate?

    Has anyone experienced this before? Do you have any advice or can you share your experiences?

    Thanks,
    Murray's mom
    I just read your post and I'm so sorry that this has happened to Murray. My dog Jack just completed heartworm treatment about a month ago. We adopted him from a shelter and a couple of months later he tested positive for heartworms. We were scared to death for him, but he came through it like a champ and is doing great now. He'll be retested in June, but he's allowed to play and exercise now. So, I'll tell you about his treatment and our cost.

    A HW positive dog must be on heartworm preventative meds for six months before they are given the first of three injections. The reason for this is that the injections only kill the adult worms. The HW preventative kills only the larvae after they enter the dogs blood through a mosquito bite. By taking the HW preventative for six months before killing the adults, you avoid the problem of having a crop of worms maturing after you do the injections. Jack had started taking HW preventative in the shelter and we continued giving it for the couple of months we had him, so we were able to begin treating him right away.

    The first thing we did was get him on an antibiotic called Doxycycline, which kills a bacteria produced by the heartworms. tge heartworms feed on this bacteria and it makes them stronger and bigger. By killing the bacteria they produce, the adult worms are weakened and more easily killed by the injections. The cost for us for the Doxycycline for a month was $400.00.

    As soon as the Doxycycline was finished, we went right ahead and took Jack to the vet for his first injection. They did radiographs to see the extent of the infestation, some other tests I think, and they kept him overnight at the vet so they could watch him. He did fine. I understand some dogs are very sore from the injection because it is a deep intramuscular injection, but Jack didn't seem to even be sore. Then we took him home and tried to keep him quiet. I was told to crate him and only take him out to potty on a leash. Jack is pretty laid back, so I ended up not having to crate him and I just didn't let Jack and Winnie both go outside together so he wouldn't run and play with her. He never had any coughing, which is one thing to look out for. As far as exercise goes, you just want to keep your dog from doing anything that would raise his blood pressure. That's because the adult heartworms begin dying and breaking up and those pieces have to be absorbed. Any sustained exercise runs the risk of getting some of those pieces into lungs and causing lots of trouble! From day 4 through day 10 after the injection is the most critical time. The vet also put Jack on prednisilone for most of the month following the first injection. It really made him super hungry all the time and he put on some weight. The bill for the first injection, tests, overnight stay at the vet and medication for the following month was about $650.

    The first injection kills the male heartworms. The second and third injections, which kill the females, come a month after the first one and the third one is 24 hours after the second. So the vet kept Jack for two nights for the next two injections. He started taking the prednisilone again and that dosage is reduced after the first week and again after the second week. The vet bill for that part of the treatment was about $500.

    Our treatment was expensive, but we wanted to do it the safest and most effective way. You can certainly cut corners (like eliminating the Doxycycline before the treatment). The slow kill method (just putting the dog on HW preventative) is not a recommended method because it takes 2 or more years for the adult heartworms to die. Instead of being able to control and limit your dogs activity when you know the heartworms are dying and breaking up, you would never know when to curtail their activity to avoid HW fragments entering the bloodstream and/or lungs because the adult worms continually die and break up over a two or more year period of time.

    I would absolutely go to the company that manufactured the HW preventative meds that Murray was taking when he got heartworms! I have heard that those companies do often pay for the treatment, though I didn't have that kind of experience. I do know that VPI Pet Insurance Company, who insures my dogs, doesn't pay for HW treatment at all! It is unfortunate that some dogs are getting heartworms, even though they are taking the meds. Usually they tend to be dogs that live mostly outside, which I'm sure Murray probably doesn't! I didn't realize it before we had this experience with Jack, but if your dog happens to throw up his HW pill one time, he is unprotected for that month and it's enough to get an infestation if he's exposed.

    I hope this helps and hope I'm not just repeating what the vet told you. The cost sounds about right to me from my experience. Vets don't charge us the same thing they charge rescue groups--I wish they did! Let me know if you have any other questions. The thing I was most worried about was keeping Jack still and quiet and it turned out to be not that big of an issue. You can't avoid short bursts of energy (like greeting you when you come home or jumping up on the bed). You just don't want any sustained exercise that would raise blood pressure (like chasing squirrels around and around the yard--which our bullies don't usually do anyway).

    And remember that most dogs go through heartworm treatment and do fine. All of them have minor damage to their hearts from the worms, but most go on to live a normal life span. I would think that if Murray has been tested annually for heartworms and only now has had a positive result, then he hasn't had them too long. And he's also young and strong, so he should be fine! I hope his treatment goes well. Please keep us posted!

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    Bulldog Vet in Training Become a 4 Paw Member Donnam's Avatar
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    Default Re: Heartworm detected

    Quote Originally Posted by Ulrich View Post
    We just learned that our 2 1/2 year old, Murray, has heartworm. His heartbeat is normal, and Murray's energy is good. He needs to have treatment to get rid of the adult heartworms. I'm told the first shot can be somewhat risky. I'm sad that Murray has to go through this. We gave him the heartworm meds, so we're not sure how or when he contracted this. Our vet quoted the treatment of 3 shots at around $1k. Is that the going rate?

    Has anyone experienced this before? Do you have any advice or can you share your experiences?

    Thanks,
    Murray's mom

    Otne more thing I forget to mention is that you can go to the American Heartworm Society website and read all about their recommended treatment and learn everything you need to know about HW disease!

  6. #17
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    Default Re: Heartworm detected

    Donna--
    Your post is extremely helpful! Thank you! We've contacted a vet recommended as bulldog knowledgeable and hope to begin treatment soon. Murray was a rescue dog. When we first got him one year ago, he tested negative. Thanks, again for the post. I'll keep you posted.

  7. #18
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    Default Re: Heartworm detected

    Murray had his first treatment for heartworm today. His X-ray showed an enlarged pulmonary artery and "foggy lungs", but his heart was not enlarged. The vet is confident that the treatment should go well as long as we keep Murray very calm for the next 8 weeks. He has been pretty mellow since he's been home tonight--a better description might be miserable and sad.

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    Default Re: Heartworm detected

    Quote Originally Posted by Ulrich View Post
    Murray had his first treatment for heartworm today. His X-ray showed an enlarged pulmonary artery and "foggy lungs", but his heart was not enlarged. The vet is confident that the treatment should go well as long as we keep Murray very calm for the next 8 weeks. He has been pretty mellow since he's been home tonight--a better description might be miserable and sad.
    Awe, poor fella! Please keep us posted.... hugs to him
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  9. #20
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    Default Re: Heartworm detected

    Murray Update: The second and third round of shots has been painful for Murray. We had to take him into the animal emergency hospital after the second shot because Murray was panting and trembling from obvious pain. All of his vitals were good, so the vet said to watch him closely that night. We did, and he was back to normal by morning. He had his third shot and has been very subdued. On night two, he woke us up because he was rubbing against our bed and pacing. We thought he needed to go out, but it turned out he'd already done his business inside--he must have been uncomfortable! We noticed that he has hives this morning and have been watching him--and scratching him all day. Poor guy. His breathing and apetite are normal, so we're waiting to call the vet tomorrow. I'm not sure he can take Benadryl just three days after the immiticide shots, so we've just tried to keep him as comfortable as possible.

    27 more days and Murray should be healthy again. We're counting down.

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    Default Re: Heartworm detected

    I'm so sorry for your bully, he is lucky to have such supportive parents. I will say prayers for him to get healthy and have a speedy recovery.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    Default Re: Heartworm detected

    Get well best wishes, Murray!!
    "
    “It came to me that every time I lose a dog they take a piece of my heart with them. And every new dog who comes into my life gifts me with a piece of their heart. If I live long enough,all the components of my heart will be dog,and I will become as generous and loving as they are"

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    Default Re: Heartworm detected

    Poor Murray - I hope he gets better soon! Sweet baby, I hate to hear when they aren't feeling well. Prayers for you all. Give him lots of loving & hugs.

    My whole heart, Tyson.
    Whoever said diamonds are a girls best friend, obviously never owned a Bulldog.

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    Default Re: Heartworm detected

    Sending Prayers and Positive Thoughts for Precious Murray. Love and Kisses to Murray. God Bless this Precious Bulldog.

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