My 1year old GSD Max tested low positive for heartworms. The vet told me I have two options for treatment. I can do the slow kill method which is heartgard. Or the fast kill which is the injections. They started him on heartgard any ways. And this past week he already seems to be wanting to eat more and a lil more active?
What are your opinions on both? Has the slow method worked for any of you?
With a very low load, you can go either way. The American HW Society pushes immiticide as the only acceptable treatment. In the Deep South, I'm pretty sure only a minority of HW+ dogs are treated with immiticide, due to the cost. There's lots of people doing slow kill, and lots of vets prescribing it.
One important thing though is you want him to be a couch potato as long as he's HW+. The less active he is, the less damage the worms are doing. I try not to run my HW+ fosters -- they walk, and they play, but they don't go jogging.
For me, I wouldn't personally do Heartgard for slow kill -- if it were me, I'd ask the vet about using Advantage Multi instead. In South Louisiana, I know of several vets who deal with a lot of rescues are mostly shifting to Advantage Multi for HW+ dogs. We're in an epidemic HW area where nearly every dog in rescue is +. With 30 days of Doxycycline & staying on Adv. Multi, we see worms clear in 6 months (light load) to about a year (heavier load). With HG, I'm told that it was taking closer to 2 years.
I just got an email recently about one dog who is exactly at the 1 year mark, who just tested negative for the first time.
When a dog that I fostered and adopted came up positive right after adoption (when she was around 6 mo. old), we took her through the 2-shot protocol with immiticide (30 days of doxy, then 1 shot, then 24 hours later the second; only 30 days of recovery/crate rest, as compared to 60 days with the 3-shot protocol). My vet recommended that for her because we knew
she had a light load and was just barely +. The treatment is easier to get through with a dog that's only lightly positive, but the crate rest restriction is still very serious.
I'm curious how your dog ended up positive. Is he a rescue who came to you positive?