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Discussion Starter #1
Naddie had her check up and the vet said she seems to be a great little dog.. She went over the paperwork regarding the heartworm from both in SC and up here.
She said it was done a bit backward as to how she does it...
She said she just wanted to double-check the microfilia.. just to be sure.. seems she is loaded with them!
She said she wanted me to bring her in for the day tomorrow.. and she wants to treat..( ivermectin I believe) and observe her..
Well, I'm glad she decided to "double-check".. ( Thank God for that gal!! )
Of course nobody knows how long she even as had the disease...
I HATE!!! that she has to have all this crappy ... nasty medicine!!!BUT I hate heartworm even more so that HAS to be dealt with!
It's just that I'm convinced!!! it was the meds that caused my Missy's bladder cancer. ( It is caused by insecticides and pesticides. etc.. EXACTLY! what these meds are.)
Trust me.. the very first sign of a UTI.. Naddie is getting a sonogram!!
Her teeth showed " ? "...a term I recognized when she said it but I can't think of the name.. calci..something?.. usually associated with malnutrition... at early age.
She weighs 13 pounds. .. vet said she looks to be at ideal weight now.. and she was such a good little girl!!
Her anal glands were pretty full so had them expressed.
While in the waiting toom..she was going over to say hello to kitty in the crate ( don't know that kitty was too happy about that! LOL but seemed to "deal" with it) plus had to say hello to everyone from clients to staff! ..

Terry, Angel Missy, and Naddie
 

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Terry, so she has microfilia... the immature heartworms and not the adult heartworms?? Does she have to go through the whole regular heartworm treatment or just the supplemental treatment? Bless her heart.... I'm glad you have such a good vet. Back in the 1970s I had two Irish Setters that had heartworms and they went through the treatment at about 3 years old and lived until over 11 years with no health issues at all.... I hope all will be well with little Naddie.
 

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I know you hate those pesticides after what happened to Missy, but don't forget that Missy, like my Lady, was diabetic and had a weakened immune system. It's much harder for their body to fight off the bacteria and toxins that healthy dogs can come into contact with everyday and have the resistance to fight off. I've told you about Lady's chronic infections now that we are in our 4th (and almost our 5th) year with diabetes. I'd also guess the fact that Naddie is so young helps a lot, too.

It is so sad about her teeth showing signs of malnutrition at such a young age. I will never understand how people can not properly care for these wonderful dogs. Lady's guardian angel, the one who rescued her that night, "adopted" her troubled family through their church and tutored their teenage sons. Jennifer said whenever she went over there Lady was filthy and matted, so she used to bring her own stuff and bathe her and clip her every couple of months. It's not a stretch to think that but for Jennifer, Lady could have ended up in the same horrible condition as your Naddie.

What did your vet think about her breeding? I'm dying to see more pictures, but from the one I saw on Petfinder I wouldn't be surprised if she isn't a purebred Maltese, just from a BYB or puppy mill so she's 13 pounds. They have to guess so often when dogs and cats are taken in.

I think you might have to get her a kitty companion!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Naddie did test positive for the adult heartworm... that's a given..

But if I understand it right.. the vet said she does the "kill" of the adult first..( (that's with the REAL NASTY stuff!!.). it takes awhile I believe for them to die off and as they do, they "break-apart". That's why it is so important that they be kept VERY quiet for a few weeks to a month after this treatment.. because these "pieces" are traveling thru the bloodstream..and clould "clog".
THEN the Ivermectin is given to kill off the rest...
Then the Heartgard follows... ( Heartgard is not only preventive but "retro-active".)
The heartworm preventive will have to be given year round from now on.
The test to see if all the adult were killed off is done at a minimum of 3 months after.. any test before that would show positive for the adult.. Missy's vet set her up for December... for that test.
The thing is.. I wonder how long that poor little girl had this disease!!
The vet tech said they have had so many who don't want to do the preventive because they feel their dog doesn't go outside.. well mosquitoes DO come INSIDE.. and only takes one!!!
Oh we also are warned of the increase of West Nile in our area.. ( eee gad!!) what next!!?so was advised to go to the Advantix? is that waht it is called as this is one that deals with the mosquitoes too. YYYEEECCHH! I hate them ALL!!!

Regarding the teeth... I think I now recall she said it could also be caused by viral infection... ( distemper) being a common culprit... if not the malnutrition.
oh I forgot, Naddie had been dewormed.. Missy's vet wants a stool sample to be sure all is well there too. I told her we get one a day!! if we get another ( fat chance!) I'll bring it in.. if not .. and she doesn't go for them tomorrow.. we'll just drop one off .

Marj, I didn't know you actually know who Lady's original family was.. Doesn't it kill ya to think what her life might have been were it not for "divine providence!!"
I was aware of the heartworm and I knew beforehand I could be settin myself up for another health-compromised pooch.. I also know many people don't want to risk the heartworm potential problems down the road.. but I just knew I had to take her and do the best we can for her... ( have a feeling that cruise to Bermuda may be put on hold again for awhile LOL!!!.)

I dropped the film off today.. should be ready on Thursday.. I don't think they will capture her "cuteness" she isn't fond of the camera!

Re the kitty.. believe me the foster mom was trying desperately for me to bring a little balck rescue kitten home.. apparently Naddie liked her a lot.. we were slightly tempted.. ( mainly to make Nadia happy...LOL) .. but decided we felt we needed to give Naddie 100% right now and wouldn't be fair to the kitty...
 

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Terry, you are truly an angel. So many people, myself included, would not have taken on a needy baby after going through all you did with Missy. You are one in a million.

I have to admit that I turned down a heartworm positive Maltese from a local no-kill shelter before I got Catcher. I didn't feel I could keep her quiet, as is required during the 6 weeks of treatment, with Kallie in the house. She was adopted soon after by a wonderful person. But before that happened I contacted Northcentral Maltese Rescue to see if they could take her. Since she was already in a safe place, they couldn't but did have this to say about heartworm positive pooches. I hope this makes you feel a little better, at least:

Thank you for contacting me. But while Buttons is being kept in a cage, and
while her life may be difficult, she is safe and receiving treatment by a
group of caring people. Our rescue's resources are limited, and I wish to
use them to save dogs that will otherwise be put down. While we don't have
very many dogs listed for adoption right now, we have many who are receiving
medical treatment. Across the country there are more of these little white
ones in peril than our rescue can help, so we try to help as many as we can.
Other than Buttons, I was notified about two others today and one yesterday.
One of the heartbreaking things about rescue is saying no, but I must so I
can help others who need it desperately.

You may want to reconsider Buttons. While heartworm treatment is tough,
chances for success are very good for an otherwise healthy dog. I have
attached a picture of Pal, who was heartworm positive and is now living a
great healthy life with a family who adores him.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
To be honest.. my orininal thoughts were to get the best breeder pup I could find and hope to increase chances for a healthy pooch!!..
I felt I just couldn't do it again and my little Missy's memory still pretty strong in the "missing her" so much phase.... AND! certainly didn't even plan to do it yet!!
Then I was approached to take little Mikey.. 3 yr old Malt boy .. when the family changed their mind.. I was crushed! So that told me I was ready to get another after all.. then I just decided I'd take a look at the Malt rescues.. and there was little Nadia.. she just "hit" me and I felt I had to try to get her and applied! When I got the call and learned of her neglect and horrendous condition .. I HAD tohave her.. it just felt so right!!! And strange.. it felt better than the almost getting the breeder pup!! My husband said the same thing.. he thought Mikey was sweet and all and if I wanted him he'd have loved him too.. but there was just something about little Nadia.. rioght form the start.. and the application process went so quickly and she was sonear.. I happened to be off work to get her the next day.. it all was so uncanny how it just worked out so smoothly. .. I truly think little Nadia was that "meant-to-be_" pooches.. just like my Puffy and my Missy were.
I comitted to this with open eyes, and even told myself there was good chance I'd be setting myself up for heartache.. BUT still had to have her.
And.. somehow.. it seems like she made it "Ok" to get another pooch.. like I KNEW Missy would approve.. and besides I do think this was all brought by divine intervention.. and that's why it is just worked out as it should.
I have no idea what lies ahead.. but then does any of us really? I DO know this little girl deserves to have a loving home and to me that was the bottom line.
One weird thng/ I kept saying I'd have no qualms about taking on a diabetic pooch.. none whatsoever.. but I didn't want to deal with the heart!! so what do I get.... ?? hmm God's tryig to tell me something I think
 

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For those of you not familiar with heartworm or the treatment, here is some info so you can better appreciate what Terry is going through with Naddie. And to let you know how important it is to give our babies their heartworm preventative each month.

http://www.houstonsheltiesanctuary.com/hea...t_aftercare.htm

Heartworm Treatment Aftercare
Caveat: The following are guidelines for our Foster Homes caring for our heartworm patients and not intended as medical advice to outside parties, as we are not veterinarians but are rescuers following our clinics' guidelines combined with our experience after years of caring for heartworm patients. Though we are happy to share what we have learned with other rescue groups who log onto this article (feel free to link to this page if you'd like to) and with owners who are taking their dogs through the treatment, this article is not a substitute for consultation with veterinarians, closely following their treatment protocol. Please do not write us for additional advice as that is not within our purview, nor do we have time to answer those inquiries; instead, contact your clinics with any further concerns and read the web sites linked at the end.


It is important for people taking care of heartworm patients to understand that heartworm disease is not a vague microscopic infection as some owners who don't give the pills mistakenly believe, but is a severe infestation of the heart by worms of from 6-12" in length which load the heart and cut off its ability to function. In severe cases, the worms grow, reproduce, and migrate from the heart to arteries, the lungs, and even other organs in the body. It is a horrific disease that no dog should have to endure and is completely preventable by heartworm pills, which kill the microfilaria deposited in the blood stream by mosquitoes before they can invade the heart, mature, consume the heart, and kill the dog. Yet because of the ignorance about heartworm disease or even indifference of some dog owners, rescue groups across the nation receive far too many dogs who are heartworm positive. Fortunately, there is a cure, though it is rough on the dogs and their caretakers, but most dogs with heartworm disease do survive through the treatment and the loving, knowledgeable care of their concerned caretakers.

From the occult blood test, if a heartworm positive (HW+) dog is a Stage 1 or 2 (mild to moderate heartworm disease, though the assessment is more complicated than this) with no clinical symptoms (slow heartbeat, congested lungs, fever, prior coughing, and listlessness), we do the full treatment of two injections over 24 hours while the dog stays in the clinic over night. A second, milder injection may be done in 4 weeks with re-check or Ivermectin pill for microfilaria showing up. If the dog is a Stage 3 - 5 (severe to critical heartworm disease--"loaded" with the heartworms), or has clinical symptoms (is symptomatic), we split the treatment over four weeks -- a 'split treatment' that is much easier on the dog who is extremely ill with the disease. The dog gets one injection; then the standard two injections over 24 hours in 4 weeks; recheck and possible Ivermectin in another week. The injections (called an Immiticide or Adulticide because it kills adult heartworms) are made in the lumbar region with a long needle; the Immiticide is an arsenic-based compound (though the modern compound has less arsenic than older compounds): it can hurt some dogs, cause pain to spread throughout the lower back muscles, and make the dog feel nauseated. Both symptoms will usually ease in a couple of days.

In Houston, because of our climate, waterways, and resultant heavy mosquito infestation--along with the ignorance about heartworm disease and carelessness of far too many owners--one-third of our rescues are HW+. However, most of our HW+ dogs, close to 95%, get through the heartworm treatment without complications, but the following are signs to watch for and aftercare to observe during heartworm treatment.

Some patients are very tired and sleep a lot for two to four days; some have temporary difficulty getting up because of the muscle soreness. Though some dogs do not experience the muscle soreness, it is particularly important not to pick up the dog or put any pressure on the back for 2-4 days after the injections. Even a gentle dog might cry out and snap in pain if that area is touched. You will know the dog is feeling better when the eyes brighten, tail wags, and the dog resumes interest in the caretaker and home activities, usually in just a few days. Let the dog sleep in a crate or on a preferred doggy bed or blanket, wherever she is most comfortable, while you watch her and keep her quiet; some dogs think they’re feeling well and may even want to play, but it is imperative that no heartworm patient exercise during the recovery period. The dog may not run, play, or go for walks during the four-week period.

Even after heartworm treatment is successfully completed, the patient should not go for long walks or engage in strenuous play for another month: each patient should be allowed to gradually build his or her strength. Go out in the yard with him to make sure he doesn’t run but just eliminates and comes back in. If he wants to run or chase squirrels in the yard, then take him out on a leash. The most important observations are the following: (1) Keep an eye on the gums; they should be pink. If they get very red or white, along with listlessness, call us and take the dog to the vet: the dog may have a secondary infection (red gums) or anemia/shock (white gums) and need quick intervention (2) Pay close attention to combination of lethargy, increased respiration, restlessness, and coughing; if you note these symptoms after treatment, call us and take the dog to the clinic. She will probably be put on Prednisone and will respond quickly (3) Watch for vomiting or any bloody discharge combined with listlessness, fever, rapid breathing/heart rate, and pale gums. Although extremely rare, also watch for hindquarter paralysis and urinary incontinence. With the symptoms in (3), which are life-threatening, the dog goes immediately to the nearest HSS Clinic because the signs point to embolism (worm clot from the die-off of the parasites during treatment); the doctors will keep her overnight, possibly a couple of days or even a week, put her on IV to hydrate her, sometimes oxygen if she's in distress, and give her cortisone injections to break up the clot. If hindquarter paralysis, which we have only seen twice and seems to be caused by muscular 'grip' or possible embolism pressing on the nerves, the doctors will treat with injections of corticosteroids and antibiotics. In both of our cases, the paralysis eased within a few days, and the dogs fully recovered. We will assist with all decisions for treatments in the clinics and cover the medical expenses.

The above warning signs are the most serious to watch for and are rare in our experience. Most HW+ dogs do go through a certain amount of coughing and/or gagging reflex which could start at any time, but some patients rarely cough at all. The worms are dying and dissolving, being passed through the bloodstream and lungs; the dog has to cough up the resultant phlegm – not the same as real vomiting which you’d recognize. If coughing starts, call us and the clinic; they will want to listen to his heart and lungs and may want to put the dog on cortisone. The coughing/gagging is alarming for the caretaker; even more so for the dog: pet him if he wants it; talk to him to let him know he’s loved and secure. However, if the coughing/gagging reflex seems heavy and uncontrollable, causing the dog distress, call the vet and us as he may be starting an embolism. Again, this is rare in our experience, and we do expect some coughing/gagging a few times a day or a few times a week for a couple of weeks; then it gradually subsides as he improves. Give the dog ½ coated or baby aspirin twice a day the first couple of weeks; this helps thin the blood so he can pass the dissolving worms. However, if the veterinarian has prescribed Prednisone for your foster because he hears a 'crackling' in the heart indicative of higher level infestation or fluid build up, do not give the aspirin with it. Use low fat cream cheese, cottage cheese, or hotdog to ease the aspirin or Pred. down. If the dog loses his appetite, mix a little Mighty Dog canned food or Veg-All (mixed vegetables) or turkey/chicken broth in with his kibble until he regains appetite, usually in a couple of days; be sure he’s drinking water every day. Crate him during the day when you’re gone, keep him quiet and loved when he’s out of the crate: no play or walks for four weeks. Crate the first couple of weeks, though we find often weeks 2 and 3 can be the most ‘gaggy.’ If so, continue to crate him another week.

Even after treatment and health clearance, in rare cases some former heartworm patients can still test positive for the heartworm antigen for four to six months after treatment, which is why the dog should be re-tested in four months and again six months later while being kept on the monthly preventative. This does not necessarily mean the dog still has heartworms and must go through the treatment again but that it is taking longer for the antigens to leave his system; however, in rare cases, the treatment may not have killed all the worms, and the doctors must make a case-by-case decision about re-treating the dog. Thus we want to monitor every heartworm patient a full year after the treatment and then yearly after that as for all dogs. Also, in rare cases, a dog that initially tested HW- when brought into our program may actually have heartworms because the antigens don't show up in the test for 4-6 months. We re-test our dogs, but this is another reason we want our adoptive homes also to re-test. HW+ dogs almost always have some enlargement of the heart, and some damage that can be seen on x-rays (vets can tell from x-rays when a dog has had heartworm disease) that may still need some healing time for a few more weeks, but the dogs will be cured and live normal lives from that point on. We have former heartworm patients going strong six years after treatment.

We recommend you read more about heartworm disease and treatment. Go to the American Heartworm Society’s web site at Heartworm Societyand the Pet Center’s discussion of the disease at http://www.thepetcenter.com/gen/hw.html; also see our own heartworm disease site for more links.

Foster homes please call or e-mail any time you have questions or concerns, and we’ll walk/talk you through. Thanks so much for being willing to help us help our dogs.

© Houston Sheltie Sanctuary, Inc
 
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