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Thread: Low heartworm + Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
04-28-2014 05:29 PM
WVGSD My best friend's Doberman never missed a heartworm pill and came up positive. She could not afford the standard fast-kill treatment after her husband spent 90 days in three different hospitals with nearly one million dollars in bills. The vet worked with them, determined that the dog was very early positive and very low load. They got him on Doxycycline and my friend found a supply at the local CVS drug store with a discount for pets. I think that he is getting the Doxy and two Heartguard pills per month (every fifteen days) for one year. They will then re-test and see if he comes back clear. He is about half way through the treatment now.
04-28-2014 08:20 AM
JeanKBBMMMAAN http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum...ml#post5412457 (another thread - big load)

The AHS pushes the fast kill for a number of reasons and there is science behind it. You can save up while the dog is on doxy or it's close replacement, and probably do a payment plan - one payment for the staging, one for first treatment, one for second treatment.

HW + dogs should be completely restricted upon diagnosis - crate/tether the entire time until they have fully completed treatment. http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum...ml#post2304148 from that thread...

American Heartworm Society | Canine Guidelines
Quote:
Quote:
As expected, the number of worms has an effect on the severity of disease, but of equal, if not greater, importance is the activity level of the dog. Controlled studies have shown that dogs infected by surgical transplantation with 50 heartworms and exercise-restricted took longer to develop clinical disease and developed less pulmonary vascular resistance than dogs with 14 heartworms that were allowed moderate activity.

This was also evident in naturally infected dogs where there was no correlation between the number of heartworms and pulmonary vascular resistance and is an indication that the host-parasite interaction plays a significant role in the severity of disease. A subsequent study reported similar findings in dogs being treated with melarsomine. Whereas live heartworms can cause endarteritis and muscular hypertrophy of arteriole walls especially in the caudal pulmonary arteries, dying and dead heartworms cause a significant portion of pathology seen in clinical disease. As worms die from either natural causes or as a result of administration of adulticidal drugs, they decompose and small worm fragments lodge in the distal pulmonary arteriole and capillary beds in the caudal lung lobes blocking blood flow. These worm fragments along with the elicited inflammation and platelet aggregation result in thromboembolisms.

During periods of increased activity or exercise, the increased blood flow to these blocked vessels can cause capillary delamination, rupture and subsequent fibrosis. This leads to increased pulmonary vascular resistance and potential right-sided heart failure. This illustrates a direct correlation between the activity level of the dog and the severity of disease.
Good on you for taking in this dog and taking care of him.
04-28-2014 02:25 AM
AlexandriaK Yes. I adopted him from a couple who could no longer take care of him.
04-27-2014 11:37 PM
Magwart
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexandriaK View Post
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?
04-27-2014 10:04 PM
AlexandriaK
Low heartworm +

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?

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