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Update on Cash. . . not good news

1744 Views 16 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  Kayos and Havoc
You guys have answered a lot of questions for me to try to help me figure out what's wrong with my Cashdog, so I thought you deserved to know what we found out. I was having problems with very soft stool and an inability to put on weight no matter how much I fed him or what type of food. At the suggestion of a few board members, I made him an appointment on Monday to see the vet.

On Saturday we met up with a friend and her GSDs for a playdate. After a few minutes of hard playing, Cash staggered over to the corner of the yard, lay on his side, and became unresponsive to any petting, calling his name, or even treats put in front of him. My husband and I picked him up, put him in the car, and rushed him to the vet.

Several hours and multiple tests later, we had the diagnosis: Cash has a severe heartworm infestation, which led to a systemic infection, which set off a mild case of pneumonia. The playing and excitement with those factors had caused him to pass out.

When I adopted Cash from the shelter back in October, they told me he was HW-negative and I put him on prevention right away. The vet explained to me that there is a 6-9 month window after infestation that the heartworms may not show up on a test, and if prevention is begun after the adult worms are already present, it will not eliminate the infestation.

He is now on antibiotics for the infection and pneumonia; as soon as he is well enough we will begin heartworm treatment.

I'm so upset about this; I can't help thinking it's somehow my fault, that I should have known or been able to do something. If you don't mind, your thoughts and prayers are appreciated.
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I am so very sorry to hear this. You must of been terrified when he collapsed!!! I'll keep you and Cash in my thoughts and prayers and please give him a hug from his friends here on the boards!
Healing prayers are on the way to Cash. Sounds like he is in very good hands.
Tons and tons of prayers being sent now for Cash! I am so sorry, this must be so scary for you. Really, I think your vet is right on top of this. Cash has the best owner caring for him!! Prayers are on the way!!
I got Lilly in December from a shelter and she tested heartworm free but when she goes for her Kennel cough booster I want them to do a re test for heartworm and a lyme disease test. I have very little faith in the vets at our shelter. Lilly came to us with a severe resperatory infection, worms, and severley dehydrated. Two weeks after we got her they put down 40 dogs with a resperatory infection that only needed antibiotics to clear it. Before a donor could get over there to give them money to treat them all they had put them all to sleep. So sad. I will keep your sweet Cash in my thoughts and prayers.
So glad that the good Lord put Cash in your care and love. You are an Angel.
All paws are crossed, folded and eyes to the sky that Cash will give this his all and make a full recovery.
You will all be in our thoughts and prayers until he is well and you are all at ease.
Will look for updates.

Bless ya, Cash, we love you!
I am so sorry to hear this. I will keep you and Cash in my prayers. Hugs from us to you!
Prayers out to you and Cash. It may be a hard situaion but the two of you will pull strength out of eachother and make decisions that will be best for the both of you. Give him a smooch for me and hugs to you
Oh no poor Cash! Glad to hear you finally know what's going on and that he's starting treatment. *HUGS* to you and don't beat yourself up about it.

Sorry to hear about the heartworm I'll keep you both in my thoughts
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I am so sorry to hear about Cash - I'm sure he'll pull through, though! I'm definitely sending you and Cash some good thoughts.

When you first got Cash from the shelter and took him to your vet, did your vet at all suggest to test him for heartworm again 6 months after your initial visit? When I got my Abby from the shelter, our vet tested on her first visit and told us that it would be prudent to test after 6 month just to make sure that there is no heartworm, since her previous history on testing / prevention was unknown and just to make sure there aren't any heartworms maturing in that time period.
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oh no, Emily so sorry to hear this.

Lots of thoughts and prayers to you guys.
try not to be upset with yourself, you are a great dog mom and I don't see anyway you could have know this, and now Cash is getting the treatment he needs..wishes for a speedy recovery
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Oh how awful - and terrifying!

I had a similar experience a long long time ago with a Husky/GSD mix I adopted from the shelter. She tested negative, everything fine... until I switched heartworm preventatives and she had a horrible reaction (this was in the old days of filarabits). Like you, I never even thought of heartworm - I thought we were covered. But the vet tested her and she was positive. At the shelter at that time they used a smear test where they just looked for microfilaria in the blood; it was not the occult test that pics up antigens for adult heartworms, so her infection was missed. I would HOPE that occult tests are standard these days but if the shelter used a smear test, that's another possible way that the infection got missed.

Anyway - best wishes and healing thoughts!
<span style="color: #3333FF">Hopefully the vet put him on doxycycline.

If you start a 30 day course of the doxy before the heartworm treatment it will lessen the side effects for him.

Check out this link:

My foster Kayto was HW+, also had every kind of worm,a TBD and a respiratory thing. He was put on the doxy for the TBD.....he sailed through the HW treatments with absolute no problems. Today he is healthy and happy!

Good Luck! </span>
Originally Posted By: Jazzstorm <span style="color: #3333FF">Hopefully the vet put him on doxycycline.

If you start a 30 day course of the doxy before the heartworm treatment it will lessen the side effects for him.
He's on that now. Thanks!
Sorry to hear about Cash. We had a similar problem with Gracie. She tested negative with the shelter and I didn't know enough about it to get her retested right at 6-9 mo. It wasn't until a routine test a year later that we found it. She went through the treatment and is doing great. Good luck and keep us posed!
Oh boy.....

Hoping the best for him!
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