Heartworm in dog

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Tiffann4k, Apr 19, 2005.

  1. Tiffann4k

    Tiffann4k Well-Known Member

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    Not real sure where to put this so I apologize if its in the wrong forum.....took my dog to the vet today and he tested positive for heartworm. In November he was tested by the SPCA and was negative, we adopted him in December.

    He is only 11-12 months old

    The vet is sending his blood to another lab to check again

    So my question is, is it exspensive to treat ? From what I have read its sounds like it may get exspensive.

    Any advice ?

    Thanks

    Tiffany

    *Edited to add that three more tests came back positive, more down a few posts :( **
     
  2. GoldenMom

    GoldenMom Well-Known Member

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    Some of the cost depends on the size of the dog and how severely affected he is. I doubt an 11-12 month old dog would be severely affected. If he is indeed infected with heartworm, the most likely reason the shelter test was negative was that he was in the "pre-patent" period. It takes approximately 5 months from the time the dog is bitten by the mosquito until the test will turn positive (this is true for either the antigen test or the microfilaria test). So your dog WAS infected when you got him, but he was recently infected. At my clinic a not severely infected 60 pound dog costs $400-$500 to treat. This cost includes bloodwork, chest radiographs, the actual treatment, and pain medications. The bloodwork and radiographs are to "stage" the disease. More severe cases require a modified approach to treatment. After treatment, the dog must have strict rest for several weeks and needs to be started on heartworm prevention. The dog is retested again about 4 months after treatment. Hope your dog does well!
     

  3. NWSneaky

    NWSneaky Well-Known Member

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    Do NOT waste money on expensive dog medicines. Just get some cattle labeled Ivermectin now available under many brands and everywhere. Dose 1ml/22 pounds down his back every two-weeks for two months and then once-a-month forever. EXACT same basics as they sell for umpteen dollars per month under dog labels.
     
  4. GoldenMom

    GoldenMom Well-Known Member

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    Ivermectin does NOT treat adult heartworms, it will only kill the microfilaria ("baby heartworms") It is fine for preventative but not TREATMENT. If you do not treat, the adult worms will eventually die (several years) but could cause damage to the heart and lungs in the meantime. In a young dog, I would not take the chance of permanent damage unless you absolutely can't afford treatment (it may be cheaper where you are or at a different vet).
     
  5. Corgitails

    Corgitails Well-Known Member

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    If he's minor positive, I believe you can use the heartgard (or ivermectin directly) and just wait for the adult worms to die off- BUT, as always, this is offlabel use, not reocmmened etc, and has it's risks. Worth talking to your vet about.

    FWIW, treating heartworm is MUCH less expensive now than it was even 5-6 years ago.
     
  6. TedH71

    TedH71 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I use a generic brand of Ivomec..costed me 34 bucks. 1/10th of a cc per 10 lbs monthly. The amount of the generic ivomec I have would keep 50 dogs worm free for a year! Now how to treat for fleas on cats cheaply would be a great help!

    Ted
     
  7. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    Ted, the ivermectin will keep the fleas off the cats for 30 days.
     
  8. TedH71

    TedH71 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    What's the dosage? I don't use the pour on Ivomec..I use the injectable generic version..squirt it in the dogs' mouths. About fleas on cats..between the shoulder blades with injectable generic Ivomec..would that work?
     
  9. NWSneaky

    NWSneaky Well-Known Member

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    Pour on generic Ivermectin is easy and less dangerous from needle infection, etc. Cattle Iver usually is labeled 1ml/22# of body weight. Mouth injestion is likely NOT getting mange, fleas, etc.
     
  10. frogmammy

    frogmammy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    There is such a thing as a false positive...retest the dog. Has dog been treated for heartworm (monthly treatment) since being adopted?

    If anyone is wondering what heartworms look like, imagine a beef heart stuffed with spaghetti coming out the arteries...and throughout the heart, of course.

    Mon
     
  11. Tiffann4k

    Tiffann4k Well-Known Member

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    The vet called earlier this evening while we were gone and left a message on the answering machine, we didnt get the whole thing because she likes to talk and our machine has a limit :haha: anyhow they retested his blood three more times today and even looked at it under a microscope and seen the larvea (??) in his blood ( EWWW! ) and then she mentioned something about 2 shots 24 hours apart and xrays & how the treatment could be painful and cause death in the dog, she said they personally havent had any deaths but its possible and that we need to know what we are getting into and then that was when the message got cut off .....wasnt really paying attention to the message ( thank goodness I saved it ) but my husband is going to call tomorrow to find out the costs. I am really hoping it wont be too exspensive, right now we dont have the money to fork out big bucks for this :(
    Will the ivermectin treat the heartworms or is that just a preventative ??

    Thanks

    Tiffany
     
  12. NWSneaky

    NWSneaky Well-Known Member

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    Ivermectin WILL definitely treat the heart worms --- raised dogs for fifty-years, been their , done that. Good luck.
     
  13. Tiffann4k

    Tiffann4k Well-Known Member

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    NW, so do I just pour it on him or give it to him ? He weighs 49 lbs so how much would I have to buy ?

    Do you take them back to get retested ?

    More info...please.....lol!!

    I want something that is going to work and not cost me an arm and a leg if possible but I dont want him to suffer
     
  14. deb

    deb Well-Known Member

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    Hi Tiffany
    I would never treat heartworm alone and without a vet's guideance. Yes, you may be able to buy over-the-counter wormers that kill heartworms, but you may also kill your dog in the process. These worms are actually living inside the dog's heart. When the worm/worms die, the worms don't magically go away; their dead bodies can clog arteries in your dog's heart and kill him. Are you really willing to take that chance?

    Since your dog tested positive again, why don't you contact the manager of the SPCA where you got the dog and see if they can help with the treatment?SPCAs often have their own staff vet or have local vets who donate their time to treat SPCA shelter animals. Our local SPCAs here do help owners with a newly adopted dog's health problems because the SPCA really wants the dog to stay with its new owners and NOT given back to the shelter, put down or abandoned.

    If the Shelter can't help with the treatment, then you should have a serious talk with your vet. Yes, a dog could die while being treated by a Vet for heartworms, but any kind of medical treatment can result in death of the patient. It is more likely that the dog will die from being treated at home and without a vets guidance.

    JMHO,

    Deb
    in WI
     
  15. Tiffann4k

    Tiffann4k Well-Known Member

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    Hi Deb,
    He was tested a total of 4 times today. When he was tested at the SPCA he was negative but that was back in November....my husband just out of curiosity wanted to get him retested today because he was showing some symptoms.
    I understand that my best route would be under a vets supervision but that may not be the best route for my wallet :( ( if its possible to do it cheaper)I also understand there are going to be risks no matter which direction we go. We are going to talk to the vet more tomorrow and see what happens from there.
    Our spca only "guarantees" a dog for 5 days after adoption if the vet finds anything wrong, after that we are on our own with him.

    Tiffany
     
  16. deb

    deb Well-Known Member

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    Are you anywhere near this Vet School? Vet schools often treat animals for reduced prices. It wouldn't hurt to call them about your pup and if it sounds good, ask them if you need a referral from your regular vet.

    The Ohio State University
    Veterinary Teaching Hospital
    Vernon L. Tharp Street
    Columbus, Ohio 43210
    Companion Animal Ph:(614) 292-3551

    Deb
    in WI.
     
  17. NWSneaky

    NWSneaky Well-Known Member

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    I'd use 3 cc poured down the back from neck to tail. Web Search Valley Vet and get a 250ml bottle; it will last a long time. The generic I use is Iver-On.
     
  18. Tiffann4k

    Tiffann4k Well-Known Member

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    Deb,
    I am about 3 or so hours from there

    NW,
    Thank you :)
     
  19. GoldenMom

    GoldenMom Well-Known Member

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    NO Ivermectin WILL NOT TREAT heartworms-it only kills the microfilaria (the "larva"). There is a possibility if you kill the microfilaria too quickly (too high a dose of ivermectin) you will cause a severe allergic reaction and the death of your dog! Please discuss this with your vet-he/she should tell you the same thing! BTW if your dog is a collie or collie mix, they are VERY sensitive to Ivermectin and a dose that wouldn't phase a "regular" dog can cause neurologic difficulties in a sensitive dog! You can still use Ivermectin for PREVENTATIVE, but you need to be VERY careful with the dosage! If you choose not to treat your dog (I understand it can be expensive), you need to give your dog preventative to gradually kill all the microfilaria produced by the adults in your dog. That way your dog is less infective to other dogs in the neighborhood. Once again, be very careful with the dosage if you use liquid Ivermectin. The dosage in the monthly pills from the vet has been proven to be safe to give to infected dogs (the old daily tablets would kill an infected dog).

    The newer heartworm treatment (two shots 24 hours apart) is actually quite safe, especially compared with the old IV treatment that would kill all the skin on the dog's leg if it went outside of the vein. Yes the treatment can be somewhat painful, but MOST dogs don't even seem to notice. We always give an anti-inflammatory to help with muscle soreness. Deb is right-the dead worms do stay in the heart/lungs until the body resorbs them. That is why it is critical to keep the dog on STRICT cage rest for approximately 6 weeks following treatment. If the dog is too active, the worms could cause blood clots/clog up the important vessels in the lungs and kill the dog! Good luck with what ever route you choose!
     
  20. BertaBurtonLake

    BertaBurtonLake Well-Known Member

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    Pouring Ivermectin on a dog topically will NOT kill heartworms.

    Heartworm infestation is a pretty serious thing. One of our labradors had heartworms 2 years ago. The treatment cost 400.00 and that included all preliminary and followup testing in addition to the injections (2 one week apart and then a third a month later). For 6 months we had to keep her inside and restrict her activity. We could only let her out to do her business and we gave her a buffered aspirin daily. As this was a big expense for folks of very modest means, our vet let us pay her over time. Maybe you can work out such an arrangement with your vet.

    Good luck and I hope everything works out well for you and your fourlegged family member!

    Best regards,

    ~Berta