Maggie has heartworms.

Discussion in 'Dogs - General Dog Chat' started by Picklepaige, Nov 28, 2011.

  1. Picklepaige

    Picklepaige Active Member

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    My mom skipped a month of prevention sometime earlier because she thought it was too cold for mosquitoes, and now Maggie has heartworms :(

    Does anyone have any advice? We're doing a month of antibiotics to weaken them, then 3-6 months of some sort of liquid medication to kill them. Is this a good method?

    Ugh, I hate this.
     
  2. Saeleofu

    Saeleofu Active Member

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    What we usually do at work is doxycycline for a couple months, a couple injections of ivermectin a month apart, then a single shot of immiticide, then I think a month later a shot of immiticide and another the next day. Or something like that. But I also know immiticide is hard to come by right now.

    If you're just doing ivermectin, it'll kill the microfilaria and sterilize the female heartworms (and thus shrink them since they're mostly baby machines), but it won't kill the adult heartworms. They will die when their lifespan is over (2-3 years maybe?) but they'll still be there until then.
     
  3. AliciaD

    AliciaD On second thought...

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    I'm so sorry! I have no advise, but this reminds me that I need to get the dogs tested.
     
  4. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    :( Sorry, good luck with whatever you choose.
     
  5. AliciaD

    AliciaD On second thought...

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    Is just the ivermectin significantly cheaper? Do the females still cause damage until they die? Curiosity.
     
  6. SizzleDog

    SizzleDog Lord Cynical

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    Keep in mind there is an immiticide shortage right now - so whatever method your vet is using is probably the only method available. :(
     
  7. Saeleofu

    Saeleofu Active Member

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    Ivermectin is MUCH cheaper and depending on the situation can be easier on the dog.

    And as I said earlier and as Sizzle said, immiticide can be hard to get a hold of at the moment. It's only made by ONE compant and they have some sort of issue with making it - I think one of the ingredients was unavailable in the US.

    The sterilized females may cause some damage while they're there, but it's not as bad as full-size heartworms, plus there are no microfilaria being produced so they can stay on heartworm preventative (a lot of times all you have to do is give the dog Heartgard or a generic ivermectin-based preventative monthly as always). And the dog isn't a source of infection for other dogs (via mosquitos).
     
  8. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

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    ((((((HUGS))))) and good recovery vibes for Miss Maggie.
     
  9. JustaLilBitaLuck

    JustaLilBitaLuck New Member

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    When Missy came into the rescue, she tested heartworm positive. We've been doing this (first her foster mom, then us) for two years, and we're going to test her again in the spring.
     
  10. Baxter'smybaby

    Baxter'smybaby swimming upstream

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    ditto that!
     
  11. Barb04

    Barb04 Love my pets Staff Member

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    Sending lots of healing vibes. Hugs for you both!
     
  12. smkie

    smkie pointer/labrador/terrier Staff Member

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    ~~~Vibes~~~ for success in Maggie's treatment. (((HUGS))) for your worries.
     
  13. Zoom

    Zoom Twin 2.0

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    Lots and lots of good healing vibes for Maggie!

    So how does HW treatment work for those dogs who can't/shouldn't use ivermectin, like Aussies?
     
  14. Toller_08

    Toller_08 Active Member

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    Oh no! Poor Maggie. Lots of good thoughts headed her way.
     
  15. SpringerLover

    SpringerLover Active Member

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    Immiticide.

    We never use anything else. My boss feels very strongly about saving/preserving the heart. We've had really good luck with it (when it's available).
     
  16. elegy

    elegy overdogged

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    Or, I suppose, you could test for the MDR1 mutation.

    Though if the dog is a mutant... you're stuck scrambling for Immiticide.
     
  17. Lossalfling

    Lossalfling Ferret Keeper

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    no advice just hugs..
     
  18. Saeleofu

    Saeleofu Active Member

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    This. If it comes down to cost, and it's either ivermectin or nothing (because it's really a TON cheaper to use ivermectin), or if immiticide is unavailable, ivermectin is better than not treating in a normal dog. Even if you use immiticide MDR1-mutant-possible dogs ought to be tested, because usually there are a couple ivermectin shots beforehand to kill the microfilaria.

    There is another option on MDR1 dogs, and that's just continuing to give heartworm preventative monthly. The amount of ivermectin in Heartgard is not enough to harm an MDR1 dog, same goes for the milbemycin in Interceptor and Trifexis.
     
  19. Picklepaige

    Picklepaige Active Member

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    Thanks for the get well wishes, everyone :) She's not having any adverse reactions to the treatment so far, so that's a plus!

    Saeleofu, what you described is exactly what she's getting. They said the immiticide was on a backorder.
     

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