I am thinking of adopting an 8-9 yr. old lab. I just found out he is heartworm positive and that now days people/vets are choosing not to treat it in older dogs. At least not the more aggresivve treatment. It's been said it's too hard on them.
Does anyone have a senior that is heartworm positive on the "preventative"?
I am upset I just found this out and I'm not sure what to do. I had too put my dog of 14 years to sleep in April and I do not want to go thru another illness like that.
I am concerned that if I do adopt this dog that he will have a sudden onset or worse. He is not really showing any symptoms at the moment. I am getting his vet records on Monday.
Any advice would be appreciated.
Sorry, I don't know about that but you might want to post this in the forum labled Lab Health and Nutrition too. A lot of ongoing stuff there, someone might know about this too.
Good luck, I hope it works out. Let us know.
I believe the main danger in the treatment is being able to keep the dog from being overactive during treatment. If I remember correctly, heart worm treatment is a two step process, first to kill the adult worms and then to kill the filaria in the bloodstream. As the filaria are killed they can coagulate in the lungs if the dog frequently becomes over heated from activity causing panting. That being the case it is easier to keep an older dog quiet and they are much more content to just take it easy. Years ago I had an old dog treated and he did fine though the Vet did emphasize that it was a dangerous procedure but considering the alternative there was no other choice.
BTW, I don't believe you can put a positive dog on a preventative. They have to be free before you begin the preventative regimen.
I had tp put my 8yr old lab thru hw treatment last April (long story as to why he had them) and they have to be kept quiet for 8 weeks. He went in for blood work and xrays to see how extensive they were and the vet spoke to me about the treatment and I chose to treat them. Its very expensive too.
Coal went in to the vets office on a wednesday morning got the first injection and stayed overnight. He came home with pain meds (its very painful shot thats injected in their lower back muscles) and I had to crate him for 4 weeks. My dad luckily came over everyday and let Coal loose in the house and they just laid around together while i was at work.. HE had to be leash walked and couldnt get overly excited. He went back in 4 weeks for round 2 of the injections. Had to stay 2 nights in the vets office. While he was there he got 2 seperate injections. Came home and was crated again. Before treatment you couldnt tell there was anything wrong with him and hes great now. It was just stupidity on my part that he ended up with them in the first place.
Its a painful and hard thing for them to go thru but so is the Heartworms themselves if left untreated. They can get realllllly big..
I worked at a vets office and assisted in the procedure multiple times. we treated older dogs and young dogs. Your vet will (should) talk to you thoroughly about what is going on inside of your dogs body. The heatworms are long spaghetti looking worms that destroy the heart. The process of the treatment is to kill of the worms. However, once the worms are dead they have no place to go except into the lungs, which are later passed out. That is why it is extemely important for the dogs to be crated or kept inactive during the recovery process. Because the worms are in their lungs which makes it difficult for teh dogs to breath. we had one dog that needed to be on oxygen when wheezing got too bad.
Its a serious treatment but a serious illness. My friend has two border collies (8 or 9 yrs of age) she told me her dogs tested positive for heartworms and that her vet said it was okay to have them on preventative. I do not agree with this and do not recommend this. However, her dogs seem to be okay but I notice they cough and wheeze often.
anyway to make a long post short. get a second opinion if you are not 100% confident in your vets oopnion on whether to treat or not to treat. maybe that would help you to make a better decision about what to do. Also consider what may come of this dog if you decide not to adopt her. I know you don't want to go through the pain of losing another pet especially due to disease but we all come to the cross roads. Its our jobs to make it as comfortable and painless as possible for them.