Such a sweet love!
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Radar is home from the vet after his first heartworm treatment.
The discharge instructions say “Dion #1507* needs to be confined and as quiet as possible to avoid post-treatment complications.”
(* this is the rescue’s name and number for our boy.)
I think our boy is following doctor’s orders pretty well. Don’t you?
Radar and Ducky have both been asleep for most of the time since Radar and I arrived home. Once they wake up, I’m sure they’ll need to go outside but for now I’m enjoying the peace and quiet. 😊
The post-treatment complications referred to above include coughing, lethargy, coughing up blood, fever, and breathing difficulty. These complications arise when the dog is not well confined and has too much activity (running, playing, etc.) leading to clots “thrown into” the lungs from the dying adult worms.
I don’t think I have to worry about Radar’s activity level today….
The vet said that Radar did very well for his first heartworm treatment. We will make sure that he continues to do “very well” so that he can have the second (double dose) treatment in one month, and eventually test negative for evidence of any remaining heartworm infection.
Progress reports will appear here as time goes by.
For those of you who haven’t “met” Radar yet, you can read our introductory post here.
Radar’s future is – as far as we’re concerned – decided. He is our boy; and we are his family. Forever. Always. Infinitely. No questions asked.
He has been a joy to have around the house these last 4 weeks! He’s easy-going, happy, active, smart, and adaptable.
When hubby and I were away from home last week – visiting family – we left Ducky and Radar at home in the very capable, reliable care of our long-time pet sitters. Radar adapted to the change in his routine and our absence quite well. Ducky was another story, but she’s fine now so not to worry.
Now that Radar has settled into his new life – life with people and a canine sister who love him – he will be starting his treatment for heartworm disease next Tuesday (11/12/19). So I’m asking for your prayers, POTP, healing energies, or whatever you call it that he will recover quickly and safely.
Heartworm disease is scary, complicated, and can have lifelong effects on a dog’s overall health. Even after the infection itself has been successfully treated – resulting in a negative test return – the damage to the dog’s cardiovascular system can be permanent.
Thanks to the American Heartworm Society website for the following information!
The treatments are preceded by an antiobiotic protocol of doxycycline to kill any bacteria which live in the heartworms. Those nasty bacteria are what help the worms survive and reproduce. They also may cause worsening inflammation when the adult heartworms die. By giving the antibiotic prior to the medication to kill the adult heartworms, the likelihood of complications from the treatment is decreased, and the chance for complete elimination of the infection is optimized.
Radar has also been getting his monthly Heartgard preventive to kill immature heartworms and prevent new infections from developing.
Meanwhile, I’ve had Radar to his vet a few times about other minor issues, and each time she has checked his “vitals”. His heart and lungs have sounded good each time so we’re hopeful that the treatments will work and Radar won’t have any future issues.
To learn more about heartworm treatment, go to the AHS’s website at the above link.
Hubby and I will have to be vigilant in our observation and care of Radar during his recovery. We will have to watch (and listen) for coughing, gagging, vomiting, diarrhea, and/or loss of appetite. And we will have to continue to restrict Radar’s exercise in order to minimize complications. We let him play with Ducky a little bit now, but he will have to be on complete crate rest once the treatments start. This is because when the adult worms die, they collapse and are pushed deeper into the smaller branches of the vessels that supply blood to the lungs. Since exercise increases blood flow to the lungs, it increases the likelihood that dead worms will block blood flow which can result in severe complications and possibly death. Makes it pretty obvious that we need to restrict Radar’s activity. We love this boy, and he’s even won Ducky over, so we’re going to do all we can to get him healthy and keep him healthy.
So, we thank you in advance for your POTP, prayers, and good wishes for Radar as he starts his heartworm treatments. We will keep you posted on his progress.