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Malachi had his first vet visit yesterday..
I dropped him off in the morning with his breakfast and lunch. I spent the day being anxious and nervous about what I'd find out about my boy.

For those of you who don't know, I 'rescued' Malachi (Kai) from some folks who had an ad listed on CL. When I went to 'meet' him, he was penned up in a very small pen in the backyard. There was feces and urine everywhere. He was emaciated. It was awful. They weren't sure how old he is. Weren't sure if he had ever been to a vet. I really had zero info on him. This was a week ago today. I paid 150$ for him to take him on the spot KNOWING there was a very good chance I'd be spending a small fortune at the vet to get him well again. One look in those eyes, and there was no doubt in my mind he was coming home with me regardless.

SO. After a long anxious day of waiting..I had to wait another 30min at in the exam room to wait on the Doc to come in. I was SO happy to see Kai, though! And vice versa!

Here is his diagnoses:
He is barely a year old. He is heartworm positive. He has whipworms (even though I wormed him with a wormer that covers all worms). Those two didn't surprise me that much (though it was still REALLY difficult to hear.)

What did shock me-and the vet-was that he has cataracts in both of his eyes. The vet waited to do Malachi's exam until I was there-so this info was discovered while I was there. The vet was taking a very long time looking at his eyes, then called another vet in. That vet confirmed that he has cataracts in both eyes. Not bad or serious at this point. He didn't believe it was really affecting his vision yet. He said he definitely doesn't have 20/20 but that at this point it wasn't bad. I'd never heard of such a thing in such a young dog. Apparently it can be a congenital issue (he was born with it.) The only other possibility was that it was caused by diabetes. He tested his blood sugar and it was normal, thus ruling that out. Juvenile diabetes in dogs is pretty rare. My next question was-how quickly is it going to progress? Apparently it can stay the same for the rest of his life and never get worse, or it will eventually cause blindness. He referred me to an opthamologist so I could find out exactly what's going on and potentially treat it (surgery to put new lenses in his eyes). Hard to believe my baby could be blind in just a few years...but I will pray that's not the case. If surgery will prevent that, than that is the road we will take when the time comes-if I have to sell a kidney on the blackmarket to do it :p

He is too skinny at this point to start heartworm treatment. I have his wormer for the next few days to get rid of the whips. Vet wants to wait 3weeks and get some more weight on him first (he is currently 72lbs but VERY skinny-ribs/hips/shoulders jutting out) Once these whips are gone, he should start gaining weight like a champ..

On a positive note..My Malachi was an ANGEL. He let the vet poke and prod and explore..he just nuzzled into me and let him do his work. He was SUCH a good boy..even the vet commented on how beautiful and well-behaved he is. *Proud Mama Moment!* He was so so patient. When we went outside, that boy had a 10min peepee! I don't think he went the whole time he was kenneled there! He is one housetrained dog. I'm so glad that even though we have a long road ahead of us to get him 100, at least we're taking the first steps...:paw:

sorry for the long post.
 

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Definitely schedule an appointment with an opthamologist. There are eye conditions that are misdiagnosed as cataracts. That was what initially happened with my lab; initially diagnosed as cataracts by the breeder's (?) vet, ended up being a lab genetic condition, end result was she eventually lost the eye. It usually takes some time to get in for an appointment as there aren't many animal opthamologists, so call soon to get the process started.

There is a lot of information in this thread on heart treatment; http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/health-issues/286922-heartworm-positive.html .

Congratulations on the pup.
 

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Wishing the best for your boy, he is very handsome.
 

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Sorry to hear about this, hope you get everything squared away, and he has a happy healthy long life...
 

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Well it sounds like he is a very lucky boy to have you as his mom, being willing to do anything for him.
He sounds like a lovely dog and worth every second and penny. Glad you guys have each other!!
 

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He is definitely a lucky boy to have you! He sounds like a sweetheart and worth the expense!

Good luck to both of you, I know he'll be fine in your hands.
 

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Wishing the best - he is so lucky to have you
 

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Hi Malachi'sMama,

Kai is very lucky to have you : ) It sounds like he has a great temperament... which, to me, is the most important thing!

As far as the medical issues go, I, too, am not surprised by the HW and intestinal worm problem. It is, unfortunately, very common in rescue. Good news is that since your dog is so young, the HW infestation is likely of a lower load and that opens up some of the less expensive treatments and make its highly unlikely that any long-term damage has been done to the heart.

As to the cataracts, I don't have any direct experience with that. If it were me, I would absolutely follow up with a specialist and go from there.

Like others, I wish you and Malachi all the best! And, again, so glad you found each other!
 

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You all are so sweet and kind. Thank you for all the well-wishes. We were absolutely MEANT to be together! :)

The vet did mention that 'at least' bc he's only a year old, he hasn't had the HWs for long. He still quoted me 475 for treatment W/OUT the doxy. I don't even want to know how much it would be WITH the doxy. My next step is to find out- bc that's going to take some monetary planning on my part!

Even though two different vets looked at his eyes, he will def be making a trip to the opthamologist, once he is treated for the HW. One step at a time.

I can already tell he's feeling worlds better and starting to REALLY put on some weight.
I'll FIND a way to get him 100%!! I'm eager to start obedience and some other sport with him-I KNOW he will be great at it, and we will both really enjoy it :D

Thanks again everyone for your care and concern. It really makes it all a bit easier to deal with.
 
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