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Discussion Starter #1
I just got the worst news for my German shepherd. Even though he has been covered faithfully with interceptor, he has heart worms. I am just sick with the news. I am in the process of deciding a plan of action for my boy. Please, even if you have your dog on something , go get them checked!!!!!
 

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I'm sorry to hear that. :( My dog has been on Interceptor since she was 7 weeks old. Just had her checked and she is negative (thank goodness). My vet told me that if she has been on Interceptor and if she would get heartworm, Interceptor would pay for the treatment. You might want to check into that with your vet and/or the company that makes Interceptor.
 

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I'm terribly sorry too did you get this dog as a puppy from a young age? Treatment for heart worm is expensive, but the prognosis is good- good luck to you two:)
 

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Well your dog is probably light positive so that is good. We have had dogs in the past go through the heartworm treatment. We confined them and gave them ecotrin and followed the vets instruction very carefully. The bill was large but our vet let us pay it out. Our dogs made it through it but it was a long process. They both lived to be 10 and 11. The treatment was done when they were both between 1-2 years old. You need to talk to your vet and see how did this happen? Not giving the right amount each month for the dog's weight? Faulty Interceptor? I would need answers. We at least knew why our dogs got heartworms it was completely our fault. We were irresponsible and it was our dogs that had to go through those treatments. It taught us a big lesson in responsible pet owning. We were lucky that our girls did well and lived long and happy lives. You gave the medication every month so if you can get financial help from Novartis(interceptor) I would try. So if you put your dog through treatment now days it is even more successful than back 10 years ago so keep that in mind. Stay positive!! Heartworms can be treated successfully so keep your chin up!! Good Luck and keep us posted!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the advice everyone. I have been told i have to show two years of purchasing interceptor which I cannot. I brought a bunch over when i moved and I had a friend who owned a kennel and he switched to heartgard and i took his interceptor so no proof. I am very diligent with my GSD. I have had him since he was 8 weeks of age and we have not missed a dose. Another GSD in ,my club has come up positive as well on interceptor.He has proof of his purchases and they are going to pay his cost. My vet stated he is starting to see some breakthroughs with this product now as well, so I guess it is just bad luck on our part.
My guy is three and in very good shape. I worry about him returning to the level he is at since I train for Schutzhund. Anyone returned to the same level of training after treatments???
 

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My boy came to me with Heartworm. He was a stray, I don't know his history, if he was ever on preventative, anything. He's been treated and he's now on Heartgard for life. Here's what I can tell you:


The Vet diagnosed him as being between a Stage 1 and 2, his very first test came back as a faint positive, the radiographs told her the stage and she was able to make the diagnosis.

The cost was almost $1,000, which was actually high, though we're able to pay monthly for it (Care Credit). We started treatment with our old Vet, who we found out was overcharging, then switched and finished the remainder of the treatment (Which we didn't skimp on, we checked out the Vet and she obviously did a good job, he's free of Heartworm and it was done safely) with our new Vet. So combined, that was the cost. Apparently it varies, but it usually doesn't even cost that much.

He was started on Heartgard to kill the Microfilaria (Baby worms, larvae), which was continued throughout the treatment, and will be for the rest of his life. Then he was put on 30 days of Doxycycline to kill Wolbachia, a parasite that lives off of the Heartworms that may cause complications during the treatment. The next phase was the Immiticide injections, given in his lower back. He got two as his case was a lighter one, though it varies, you will have to talk to your Vet. They were given 24 hours apart, he stayed overnight and we picked him up in the morning. He had to be crated for a month (In more severe cases it's two months, but one was okay for him), not allowed to run around, exert himself, etc. I took him out back to go to the bathroom, then he went back in his crate. After the injections are administered the worms die and break up, they travel through the bloodstream, and if the dog's heart rate becomes elevated, they can suffer an embolism.

After completing the treatment, they had to wait 4 months to test him again to ensure he came back negative for Heartworm. He did.

After everything was said and done, Koda is now a completely different dog energy wise. Before I knew about the Heartworm, I'd throw the ball in the yard for him 3 or 4 times and he'd stop and just lie down, panting. Now, since the Heartworm has been eradicated, he's got more energy than you can imagine. He's happy (You can just see it in his face, the way he runs around and grabs his toys), he tears across the house, runs around like a fool when I grab the leash for a walk. He can go and go and go. The difference is astounding. The Vet said that there should be no long term damage to his heart because it was detected/treated early. I know one of your concerns is your guy being able to return to the level of performance that he's at for Schutzhund. I have no doubt that if the case is not severe he will be totally fine. If he's performed well this long with the Heartworm, which he's had for who knows how long, he will only have more energy once it's taken care of.

I, like you, was devastated when I found out Koda had it. I didn't know what to do. I followed what my Vet told me to do, however, and Koda is doing very well. I'm sure your guy is going to be okay! :)
 
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