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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been considering adopting another GSD for some time now. I think my boy DJ needs a play pal for when I'm away at work. I found a four yr ole female in the Central Texas Rescue (puppy mill dog) with almost identical markings as DJ (could pass for his big sister) however she has heartworms for which the shelter is saying they will treat before adopting the animal out. I always heard the treatments are very hard on the animal, is this true ? How concerned should one be with an animal who has had heartworms, what are the health issues that may follow ?
She is a beautiful animal, I would really like to give her a home !
 

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The treatment is hard on the dog. Heartworms are 6-12 inches long. There are a couple of methods to treat - and the fear is that the dog will throw a clot of dead worms. Careful management of the treatment of the dog helps.

Heartworm Disease - Oakhurst Vet Admin
American Heartworm Society

Depending on how advanced it is, will help to determine if there are any long-term impacts on health. Some dogs have had the heartworms so long that they have some lung and heart damage, so x-rays will help to determine staging, etc. and will allow you to see what has been happening inside.

Rescues treat HW+ dogs all the time that go on to live long healthy lives! Good luck!!!
heartworm
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have heard that the treatments could possibly be terminal and the animal is then susceptible to all sorts of aliments following. Has anyone here had an animal with HW and survived to live a productive and happy life afterwards ? I am hoping the infestation is not so far progressed to be detrimental !!! :(
 

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Most dogs that are treated for HW's go on to live a very normal healthy life. If it is extremely severe, the treatment itself can be life threatening and there can occasionally be long term problems. But the majority of the time the dog is 100% normal.
 

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I have heard that the treatments could possibly be terminal and the animal is then susceptible to all sorts of aliments following. Has anyone here had an animal with HW and survived to live a productive and happy life afterwards ? I am hoping the infestation is not so far progressed to be detrimental !!! :(
My Koda came to me with HW...He's been treated, tested again (Came back negative), and has more energy than ever. The Vet said he's going to live a very happy, healthy life. He was diagnosed as being between a Stage 1 and 2 when treated. He's not going to be susceptible to anything else, no permanent heart damage. He's on Heartgard for the rest of his life and should never get it again. No complications during treatment as Vet's orders were followed.

I say if you want to give this girl a home, go for it. There's no reason not to. I would go through what I did with Koda again in a heartbeat. He's the sweetest, most loving, amazing, wonderful, beautiful, (The list would go on forever) dog, and he deserved to go through the treatment and have a loving home. If you're going to provide that loving home for her, and it sounds like you will, do it...It's so worth it.
 

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I have heard that the treatments could possibly be terminal and the animal is then susceptible to all sorts of aliments following. Has anyone here had an animal with HW and survived to live a productive and happy life afterwards ? I am hoping the infestation is not so far progressed to be detrimental !!! :(

I can tell you from personal experience that yes they live healthy and long lives. We had two dogs go through the treatment. They were around 2 when both of our dogs went through it. The process itself was very harrowing but after they were negative they were perfectly normal. They lived to be around 11 yrs old and they did not die from anything related to the heartworms or the treatment. Our dalmatian passed away from kidney failure due to old age. The lab had organ failure caused by cancer as well from old age. Once we got them through the treatments and recoup time they never missed a beat. Our dalmatian was just a tenacious as she was when she was a puppy and energetic. My lab was always calm and it never phased her either. This was all ten years ago so the prognosis is probably even better now than then. Once they are negative always always remember to give them their heartworm treatment though. Checkups are very important for dogs that have gone through it. The vet will have you come back to make sure they test negative regularly for a while.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you all for your reply to this thread. Has put my mind at ease about giving this Lady a now and forever Home. I am hoping DJ takes a shine to her as I have. I started adoption proceedings yesterday. Pray all goes well with her treatments ! :wub:
 

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When Old Bitch was a puppy....ooo maybe 10 months old, we adopted a buddy for her. He was a beautiful, stocky 4-5 year old male. The city shelter called after we adopted to tell us what we had already found out (we'd gone straight from shelter to vet)- hw+. He started treatment straight away. At that time we were told he had to have a series of injections certain intervals apart. He did very well after the first injection. After the second he seemed a bit sick...but the third nearly killed him.

I was at work and my houseguest called to tell me something was wrong. I had the car, we lived in a city and the dog probably weighed close to 90 pounds (try to get *that* on a bus). I told him to call a cab and get to the ER vet....but it happened that JUST at that moment our neighbor was arriving home from her shift at the ER (Angell Memorial in Boston- three blocks from our house). She took one look at our dog, loaded him into her jeep and took him in- she also managed his care in the ER and during his admission there. As far as I am concerned SHE save his life. That was in 2000. In november of 2006 we had to have him euthanized as his DM had progressed too far. Even with DM he was an active dog right up until the last few months. The HW and his scary reaction to treatment never stopped him from running, playing, swimming, patrolling the yard, etc. He was our most solid dog- physically and mentally. He is missed to this day.

Lady is in the same age range as our guy was when we adopted. I share our story just so you can see...even older dogs can do well.....even if the treatment is scary, they can do well....even if they have reactions...they can do well :)

Congrats on your soon to be new family member...
 

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Thank you all for your reply to this thread. Has put my mind at ease about giving this Lady a now and forever Home. I am hoping DJ takes a shine to her as I have. I started adoption proceedings yesterday. Pray all goes well with her treatments ! :wub:
I'm happy you've decided to adopt her. :) As I said, I would go through the treatment again with Koda in a heartbeat. He was so worth it, as I'm sure this girl is. The treatment can be hard on them, yes, but it's not nearly as scary as it seems. At least it wasn't for me. I freaked out when Koda tested positive, I cried, I assumed the worst. I thought he was going to die during the treatment, etc. He was completely fine! I'm not trying to downplay anything, HW is serious, but the odds of something going wrong during treatment are slim, most dogs make it through just fine and live perfectly happy, healthy lives!
 
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