Saturday, July 17, 2010

Heart worm Positive

Two words you never want to hear together. Unfortunately Friday I was given the news that our Roxie has Heart worm disease.

When we had her transported up here she was given a clean bill of health. She was suppose to be tested for heart worms and my paperwork said she was negative. I thought about having her rechecked but everyone thought it would be redundant so I didn't.

Fast forward 8 months... I got a weird feeling last week that all the dogs needed tested. It bugged me till I had it done Friday. I was dreading the results but really thought everyone would come out clean. I knew when I seen our vet come from her office that it was bad news. She took me to a patient room and asked a couple question. She knew she had come from South Carolina and that it had been at the end of last year. She asked if I was sure they had done a test because the worms had already started producing babies. Which means she has had them for at least 7 to 9 months. The chance of her getting heartworm here would be really low considering the stage they are at. She came her in the winter so that lowers the chances even more.

She told me blood work and chest x-rays needed done before her treatment would start. She told me that the "medication" used for the treatment was in short supply and to call the Vet Hospital immedietly to see if they had the meds to treat her. They did. So I asked our vet to do the blood work and x-rays even though the other vet wasn't going to do them. I feel safer knowing how her blood work looks for kidney and liver function and X-rays for heart enlargment. The blood work came back pretty good. Her glucose was really low, her liver and kidneys are looking good right now. They will take the brunt of the meds because they cycle the meds out of the system. The white blood cell count is really high at 16.6. There were no Bands indicating that she has had heartworms for a while. If it was a new infection should would still have bands in her counts. Her Neutrophils and Eosinophils are also high. But as an over all look she said it looked pretty good. Her chest X-ray showed a small enlargement to the right side of her heart and one of the arteries was enlarged. Both from the extra work to get around the heart worms.

This is extremely hard for our family to deal with and I am sure she can feel our sadness right now.

But our family vet keeps assuring me that this has been caught early and she is a great candidate for the treatment. She has good liver and kidney function, she is only 2 years old, she shows minimal damage to her heart, she has no outwards signs or symptoms, and she said that she wouldn't at this point even consider her even a stage one. Which all sounds good on paper and even spoken but to think about the method used to kill the heart worms and what can happen after the heart worms die is really truly terrifying.

My heart is broken and the only thing that will make it whole again is our Roxie coming home safe and sound to recover and become a healthy strong dog once again. She will be going through something that is painful, scary, and something that could have been prevented. She is an awesome dog and I can't stand the thought of her going through this. But this is the only thing that can save her life. So please keep her in your thoughts and prayers.

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