|Barked: Thu Mar 24, '11 11:12am PST |
|It all depends on the course your vet decides to take and how severe the heartworm is. The best thing to do is talk to your vet and ask them questions, but I know it helps to hear from other owners.
Will your vet be doing the Immiticide injections next? I can tell you about that. Sarah had Grade I heartworm disease when I adopted her. Her treatment was two injections of Immiticide 24hrs apart. The injections will make your dog sore and tired for a few days. Sarah stayed at the clinic so that they could monitor her.
For the next 2 months it is CRITICAL that the dog be kept quiet and not active. They should not do anything that will allow their heart rate or blood pressure to become elevated. This is because the dead worms break apart. If a dog's blood pressure/heart rate becomes elevated, it can force big pieces of the dead worms out into the lungs, which can cause a pulmonary embolism. This is life-threatening. Some vets will even tell you to keep their activity restrained for four months. Sarah was allowed to be out in the house when I was home, but she had to be a couch potato. If she got crazy, I gave her a Kong, shut her in the crate, and left!
After the treatment, Sarah was put on heartgard plus for 6 months straight (even though it was winter and their were no mosquitoes). This was to kill any 'baby' heartworms in her blood stream and prevent them from reinfecting her.
Sarah and I had one scary time. I had her crated while I mowed the lawn. She was very scared of the lawnmower (didn't know that at the time!). I came back in from mowing and let her out- she started gagging and coughed up a small amount blood. The vet had me put her on aspirin to help thin the blood out. It never happened again. If I had known more about heartworm, I probably would have had her at the e-vet, but the aspirin worked!
The good news is, is you would never know Sarah was so sick if you were to look at her today. Now that she's heartworm free, she runs and plays, wrestles, and just plain goes nuts whenever she gets the chance!
Hope all goes well for Cassie! To help her get used to the crate, try feeding her in there, giving her chewies or other special, long-lasting treats. It really helped Sarah learn to like her crate.
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