Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Roxies Recovery 3- 7 days post Heart Worm Treatment

I have been keeping everything pretty updated on her recovery from Heartworm Treatment. Probably just to kinda try to let out the stress I am feeling. And maybe to let someone else out there know what it is like to deal with a dog during heartworm treatment and the scariness of the situation.

We are one week Post treatment and I am still worried and can't keep many of my thoughts straight. I get that way when I am stressed beyond boundaries which doesn't happen very often. Last time I remember being this stressed like this is when my husband was deployed to Iraq for 18 months and when some of our other furbabies have had surgery or a severe medical issue. So maybe 4 times in the last 5 or 6 years. So my thoughts are not all together at this moment. And I am actually sitting here waiting for one of our vets to call right now about Roxie cough.

So lets recap.

  • Last Monday Morning Rox had her first shot. Did well throughout the night.
  • Tuesday she had her 2nd shot. She also did well this night and the next day.
  • Wed she stayed till 3pm and then we picked her up. She was happy to come home and almost at like her normal self. If you didn't know she had the treatment you would have just thought she was a little tired.
  • Thursday she was tired. She laid on the couch all day and just spent time with us. She didn't run around all though she got kinda excited twice but we were able to calm her down w/o any coughing. That night I didn't sleep because I wanted to stay up and watch her all night. I stayed up till 6:30am and my husband was supposed to get up at 7:30 so I fell to sleep. Also I had finally realized that they didn't send any Pred home with her and although she wasn't showing any symptoms I was wanting that as a precaution to stop lung inflammation before it happened.
  • Friday I called to ask why they didn't put her on Pred at home and asked if they could. They said "no" they don't generally do that with stage one heart warm disease. I told them she had coughed a little on Friday and even though I though she needed it they didn't so they dismissed my thoughts. errr. I hate it when people do that. She coughed 4 times that day. A dry hack once every so often like when she would drink or eat. Stayed up with her most this night too.
  • Saturday she was coughing a little more. I was worried but I was trying to believe what they had told me and not worry about the light cough she did her. It was a dry hack still until later that evening and it was more like a productive sounding cough but nothing was being hacked up. She laid around more lethargic this day and by evening she was shivering on and off. She really didn't do much then sleep even though I would let her out of her kennel. She would just kinda plop down and sleep.
  • Sunday morning. Johns first day back to work I am woke up by the neighbors dog making my dogs freakout because he got lose. She was shivering pretty good and I realised that sometimes you shiver from having a fever. So I take my poor spongebob thermometer and insert it were it needed to be inserted. And he temp was at 104.3F at 9:30am. I knew normally temp was 100-102F so I called out our E-vet and they told me I should bring her in. I decided to wait and see if it would go down. about an hour later it was at 103.9F than an hour after that it was at 104.9F. So I decided to run her into the E-vet. she still has a cough. I was afraid to take her in because she gets excited in the car. I didn't want to stir up any HW's to go to her lungs and cause an embolism. But I had no choice but to take her. We got to the vet her temp was back at 104.0F. She said it was probably do to lung inflammation or pain. Which I had already pretty much known. So she gave her a Dexamethasone (Pred) shot and a Torbugesic shot. She also sent her home with an Antibitoc called Doxycycline which I had also read about online. It is supposed to treat the bacteria that live with the Heartworms. It is in the newer protocol for HW treatment. Plus Prednisone for the next month. She also told me to give her some Pepcid AD for her tummy every twelve hours to see if we could get her to eat some. She also told me at stage one she was not having such a great reaction and should be watched closely. The inflammation isn't a good sign at all. If she can't breath because she has an embili the prognosis isn't good at all and most dogs will not make it. We would only have a few minutes to get her to the Vet.So now I am really worried. That thought keeps playing over and over again in my brain. I kinda figured that but she really made it clear. She gave her enough Tor to let her get some rest that evening. There was no coughing and when she woke up at 7pm she no longer had a fever. It was at 101.3. Her gums were nice and pink she had a great cap response and she just over all felt better and you could tell. But she still slept good for the rest of the night.
  • Monday She did a little coughing. You could tell she felt so much better. Her temp was still in the normal range at 101.8F. She wanted to play with the other dogs and with us but I had to keep putting her back into her kennel to keep her calm. She was feeling really good and even ate about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of food. But you can tell she is coughing a little more.
  • Tuesday the coughing kinda changes a little each day becoming more and more. Used to it would only be when she was excited. Now its almost every time she drinks and eats. She is feeling good today though and is protesting her kennel stay. She ate about 3/4 cup of food before her Pred pill this morning which is good. She will no longer listen when I say "In" and point at her kennel. I actually have to push her into it. She pircks up at any sound and really just wants to be a dog. But her coughing today is getting more frequent. Today make day 7. So we have three weeks worth of recovery to do from just the shots. This cough is nerve racking and I really want to speak with out vet. I really wish I would have pushed the 3 shot method more. So it would have been a slow kill for the HW. But everyone tells me she should be fine. Should be isn't necessarily is and every dog isn't alike. I just really want her recovery to go smooth past this point. She has been kenneled more for the last two days than the first few since she is feeling more active. But she sits there and cries, claws, whines, and digs at her bed trying to destroy it. She makes me feel awful. But I know it is for her own good. I am thinking about asking the vet for something to keep her calmer. Wish the vet would call me back.

Please everyone Heartworm prevention is the key here. Mosquito's are every where and it only takes one bite from an infected mosquito to give your dog HW's. A heart worm test is relatively inexpensive ( our was $26.50) and HW preventative (6 months around $40 or 12 months for $65.00 prices very depending on size of dog)are too. The south has a huge population of HW infected dogs and mosquito's. Normal count for HW load here is 8 to 10 per dog the southern states have a range of 50 to 80Worms per dog. Please even if a shelter said the dog has been tested have your dog retested in a couple months to make sure there really is no HWs. It can save your dogs life. Please have your dogs tested and put on prevention. HW treatment can be costly. Right now we are at (Test cost) 26.50+(x-rays and blod work)$250.00+ ( treatment cost included 2 Viles of Immiticide, exam, hospital stay, Pred Inj and Benadryl inj) $480.00+ (E-vet visit included emergency fee, exam, Pred inj, Tor inj, Doxy pills, Pred pills) $177.oo. So in total right now her treatment cost is at $933.50. I would give our babies the world. Finding money is an issue but I would do almost anything to keep them safe, happy, and healthy. Our financial situation isn't great. It isn't even good right now but the money is the least of my worries when my baby is sick. This could cost alot more than just money it could cost a dog her life. So please take that into consideration when you have a dog or cat. This is a very serious issue.

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