Sweet Luke spent the last part of the week at CVRC with his Cardiologist, Dr. Sophy Jesty doing his final two Heartworm injections. We take extra precautions when any of our dogs have a burden of heartworms which is why they have to stay in the hospital with a Cardiologist and ER Team in case they have a fatal reaction to the Die-Off of heartworms.
Too many Rescues do not take the warnings seriously enough. We hear of dogs dying from treatment all the time. Our experience is it is not the treatment that killed the dog but the lack of care to the animal after the treatment. ALL dogs being treated should be on strict cage rest and be walked on a leash until they are out of danger which is almost a month. They should be treated by Specialists that know what to look for to determine if the animal should have a Fast or Slow Kill Method.
Heartworm Treatment and Preventative is taken far too lightly and is done improperly all the time. The Heartworm Society changes its protocol all the time based on Research they have gathered from Vets. Before you begin any Heartworm Treatment, go to their web page below and read about what happens when an animal is treated and the Dangers. Properly supervised dogs do remarkably well and live a long life Heartworm-Free.
The best scenario for your beloved Pet is to use Preventative Treatment so your dog never gets Heartworms. We change our Protocols based on the Health and Age of the Dog we are treating. Consult with the experts before starting any treatment. If your dog has never been on Preventative, Do Not put them on any Heartworm Meds until you know if they have Heartworms. That one pill could kill off enough heartworms to cause your dog to have a heart attack from the Die-Off. Every dog needs to have a Test to determine their worm burden before doing any Treatment.
The American Heartworm Society wrote: "The most important thing you can do to minimize complications during treatment is to restrict your pet’s exercise before, during and after the melarsomine injections. When adult worms die, they collapse and are pushed deeper into the smaller branches of the vessels that supply blood to the lungs. Because exercise increases blood flow to the lungs, it increases the likelihood that dead worms will block blood flow. This can result in severe complications and possibly death. The importance of restricting your dog’s activity cannot be overemphasized."
Luke was not happy and is pretty sore from the injections which go into the muscle on both sides of the lower back. As you can see from the pics, he was being spoiled with lots of treats and loving but pain is still pain and no dog likes the procedure. We will not be doing any walks with Luke this week in his new prosthetic because he needs to be calm and relaxed. The prosthetic amps him up which we do not want. Next week, if he is feeling better, we will put his prosthetic on. He is still learning how to walk with it which is why we are being so cautious.
The good news is he will soon be Heartworm Free which is what we want for this Gentle Giant.