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Has Anyone's Greyt Had Heart Worm?


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Our 4 year old Gila's heart worm test just came back positive. The vet did a snap test, and I'm bringing her back tomorrow to do another test (this time on an empty stomach). She's been on Revolution monthly for the two years we've had her, and her test last year came back negative. I was just wondering if anyone here has dealt with the treatment for heart worm in a greyt. I'm concerned as she has so little body fat, and what I've read about the treatment sounds almost as bad as the parasite. She's just starting to come out of her shell, and I'm afraid this will set her back. Of course, if she does have heart worm, we don't have a choice.

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I had a lab that was treated for heart worm; he had it when I adopted him. It's true that he had more body fat than your dog, but the treatment was rough on him. It was a long time ago, back when dogs were being treated with arsenic. Maybe things are better now.

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What are they recommending you treat her with?

 

I haven't really heard much about the treatment being hard on them, just that they need to be on crate rest while they're treated. That can be difficult for a younger, active dog - I would say things like food puzzles, stuffed & frozen kongs, car rides, etc. are your friend.

 

By the way, if Revolution is a heartworm preventative and you've been acquiring it from your vet and doing annual tests, I believe that you should be able to receive compensation for the costs of treatment. At least that's the case with Heartguard.

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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He's not my dog, but one of the greys came to PRH with heartworm. They're doing the slow treatment because it's less taxing on them (supposedly - I don't know much about it). He's happy, friendly (a big leaner!), has a huge appetite, and tries his best to run and play (we don't let him!). Every dog is different, of course, but he's handling it so well that I didn't know anything was wrong when I met him!

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Thanks for your advice! The vet said she didn't want to discuss treatment options until she does another test. I just want to go to her office prepared with questions in case this tests shows positive, too. Some of the articles on-line were really scaring me, but again, most of them were older, when arsenic was part of the treatment. If it comes to it, it won't be difficult keeping Gila quiet, her favorite place is still a dark corner of the bedroom.

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Unfortunately, Gila's second heart worm test came out positive. The vet recommends the fast kill method, she feels it's more effective than the slow kill, and she'll be hospitalized for two days so they can watch her for complications. She said the slow kill is popular with rescue groups because it is much cheaper and they don't have the resources for the fast kill. Gila starts a course of doxycycline first before they start the heart worm injections. Poor girl.

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Sending good thoughts that everything goes smoothly. Keep us posted. :goodluck

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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Second the good thoughts--it sounds like your vet was helpful in explaining your options, that always makes me feel better.

Beth, Petey (8 September 2018- ), and Faith (22 March 2019). Godspeed Patrick (28 April 1999 - 5 August 2012), Murphy (23 June 2004 - 27 July 2013), Leo (1 May 2009 - 27 January 2020), and Henry (10 August 2010 - 7 August 2020), you were loved more than you can know.

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She said the slow kill is popular with rescue groups because it is much cheaper and they don't have the resources for the fast kill. Gila starts a course of doxycycline first before they start the heart worm injections. Poor girl.

Not true. They are against the fast kill because of the possible "side effects". It is a very serious treatment.

 

I would go the slow kill now if I ever have another. When Austin got cancer, chemo was not an option for him because of what the hw treatment (and I am sure the heartworms themselves) did to his heart.

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My Heart came to us with heart worms. She had the fast kill method. We just had to leash walk her for four weeks and keep her crated but she did very well.

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Strange how she got HWs even though she's been getting regular preventive meds for it. I wonder how that happens?

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@ 2greyhoundMINI- I asked the vet how she could get heart worm even though she's gotten the meds religiously. She said she doesn't recommend Revolution because it's a topical that's absorbed through the skin, and dogs skin can absorb differently. She prefers oral meds. I've also seen some articles on-line suggesting heart worms may be developing a resistance to the drugs.

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@ 2greyhoundMINI- I asked the vet how she could get heart worm even though she's gotten the meds religiously. She said she doesn't recommend Revolution because it's a topical that's absorbed through the skin, and dogs skin can absorb differently. She prefers oral meds. I've also seen some articles on-line suggesting heart worms may be developing a resistance to the drugs.

Gotcha... I never saw a topical one before... I think we use Sentinel, which is taken orally.

Ugh, that;s scary though.

Greyhounds: Amelia (Cataloosahatchee 9.10.17) & Carmen (Rebellious Bird 8.23.17)
Kitties: Sophie the Fearless and Nalla the Purr Box
Rainbow Bridge babies never to be forgotten: Raider Kitty (4.1.01 - 8.12.21), Sidney (Kane's Seminole 11.14.08 - 9.26.19 ), June (Potrs June 6.1.09 - 3.1.19) 
Bella the Rottweiler, Spike, DC, Gilda & Killer kitties.

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I hope you bought the revolution through your vet and that they are petitioning Zoetis to pay for some of, if not all of the treatment.

Novartis stepped up and paid 50% of the visits/treatmentwhen one on my guys got hookworm. The vet proved th through records that he was treated monthly. I also had a good relationship with my vet and the novartis rep was spot-on.

Either way, I hope they are making amends for you and your pup.

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@DofSweetPotatos- Thanks, I'll look into it, we did buy it through the vet. The problem is, we just moved to another city so no longer use that vet. This was the first visit with our new vet. Luckily I'm feeling confident with our new vet, every dog owner we've met swears by her. We were lucky she was taking new patients.

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Here are the Companion Animal Parasite Council's recommendations:

http://www.capcvet.org/capc-recommendations/canine-heartworm/

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@Batmom- Thanks for that link! I've been doing my research, but hadn't come across that one. It re-iterates everything my vet explained. This sentence convinced me to go with the fast kill:

  • Although the “slow-kill” method should be avoided, if it is the only medically acceptable option, microfilariae should be eliminated prior to exposure to preventive doses of macrocyclic lactones.
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@DofSweetPotatos- Thanks, I'll look into it, we did buy it through the vet. The problem is, we just moved to another city so no longer use that vet. This was the first visit with our new vet. Luckily I'm feeling confident with our new vet, every dog owner we've met swears by her. We were lucky she was taking new patients.

Your current vet should be able to contact your last vet and get your records to prove they were on meds. Heartguard is currently paying a part of worming treatment for both my girls who contracted whip and hook worms while on the medicine. It is a blessing believe me!

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