HW+

Food, Fitness and how to keep them healthy.

Postby pocketpit » September 22nd, 2011, 3:42 pm

Well that's good news at least! We just had a case last week in our ER. Dog native to WA state and has never left the state. We found the microfilaria on the microscope so there's no doubt he's positive. Most vets in this area will tell you that we don't have heartworm either and not to worry about it but I'm going to rethink putting my crew on preventative on a regular basis after that.
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Postby Malli » September 22nd, 2011, 9:25 pm

so am I! If you guys are getting it, we are getting it here, too.
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Postby SisMorphine » September 26th, 2011, 11:31 am

Meds are in. I'll be picking them up on Friday and starting them Saturday so I have the day off and can keep my eye on him (though if I can get Friday off and work a double some other day this week that would be much preferred). Also waiting to hear back from my herbalist about getting a tea blend to keep him quiet (though frankly, he's pretty darn low key) through treatment.
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Postby plebayo » September 26th, 2011, 11:51 am

I'm glad you have a plan!!! This makes me reconsider treating as well. We generally 'don't have it' here either but they keep bringing positive dogs up from California and other states. This is definitely a wake up call that it can happen to anyone. I look forward to treatment updates!!
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Postby SisMorphine » September 26th, 2011, 11:41 pm

My mother shared Blue's plight with two of my aunts who are dog people (the other 7 siblings are NOT dog people), and my aunt Laurie said that just recently her dog Daisy was diagnosed HW+ and she begins treatment on Saturday (same day as Blue). This is just insane. She also lives in Mass. I can't even wrap my head around this.
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Postby Jenn » September 27th, 2011, 4:46 pm

Do ya'll just not have mosquitoes, as a general rule?? Or is it the TYPE of mosquito, the winters are so cold, just curious as to why as a general rule it isn't there?
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Postby cheekymunkee » September 27th, 2011, 8:01 pm

Garlic is good for fleas but no so much mosquitoes. I told you the snot would be fine! :wink: HW are very prevalent here, but it is crazy to hear it being spread to the north
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Postby mnp13 » September 27th, 2011, 9:48 pm

Jenn wrote:Do ya'll just not have mosquitoes, as a general rule?? Or is it the TYPE of mosquito, the winters are so cold, just curious as to why as a general rule it isn't there?


It's not really prevalent in the north east is all. We have it, but it's not like you hear about HW+ dogs all the time.
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Postby SisMorphine » September 27th, 2011, 10:17 pm

For a dog to get HW this is what has to happen:
A HW positive dog must get bitten by a mosquito and ingest some microfilaria. The microfilaria then must fester within the mosquito for 2 days and then that mosquito must bite another dog. If the temp at anytime in that two day period goes below 47 then the microfilaria in the mosquito will die off and it can't be transferred. Though we have hot summers, due to the fact that our springs and falls typically have nights under 47 degrees (nevermind the winters), HW doesn't really survive well up here.

But after talking with my friend who does mosquito research in MA she said that the problem seems to be two-fold: first is the number of dogs being imported from the south. Easier to get puppies from the south since spay/neuter is so pushed up here, and many "shelters" and "rescues" focus on puppies from the south instead of helping local dogs since puppies are easier to move. Combined with the fact that some people's basements stay over 47 degrees and are mosquito breeding grounds over the cooler months.

And Deb, the garlic I've given has always been for the fleas (as you're right it's not helpful with mosquitos or even ticks), BUT it also has a property to it which helps to flush toxins and such (like pieces of dead worm) out of the system.
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Postby call2arms » September 28th, 2011, 4:12 pm

Alyssa, it seems like our supplier can get Immiticide sporadically - we sent 5 boxes to Florida 2 weeks ago for a vet friend of my boss (it's on backorder again now, but might come back on?). If you do end up needing it, let me know and I can check for you.
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Postby call2arms » September 28th, 2011, 4:14 pm

I just just checked, our supplier has it right now.
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Postby Jenn » September 28th, 2011, 4:46 pm

SisMorphine wrote:For a dog to get HW this is what has to happen:
A HW positive dog must get bitten by a mosquito and ingest some microfilaria. The microfilaria then must fester within the mosquito for 2 days and then that mosquito must bite another dog. If the temp at anytime in that two day period goes below 47 then the microfilaria in the mosquito will die off and it can't be transferred. Though we have hot summers, due to the fact that our springs and falls typically have nights under 47 degrees (nevermind the winters), HW doesn't really survive well up here.

But after talking with my friend who does mosquito research in MA she said that the problem seems to be two-fold: first is the number of dogs being imported from the south. Easier to get puppies from the south since spay/neuter is so pushed up here, and many "shelters" and "rescues" focus on puppies from the south instead of helping local dogs since puppies are easier to move. Combined with the fact that some people's basements stay over 47 degrees and are mosquito breeding grounds over the cooler months.
.


I'm genuinely trying to "grasp" my head around this, not questioning you per say. ;)
Cause as I read that, the dogs in the South have to be HW+ and because they are bringing them else where, they are getting bit by the mosquito and biting dogs not born in the South?? I just don't understand how that could be a factor... By that logic, the rescued Southern dogs are HW+?? However, they have to get the HW the same way. OF course there are WAY more mosquitoes, hotter climates, etc. but I don't see how transporting a dog could cause the HW rate to increase in the area?? Unless you're just meaning those dogs are increasing the statistics because they already had them?? :confused:
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Postby mnp13 » September 28th, 2011, 6:45 pm

but I don't see how transporting a dog could cause the HW rate to increase in the area?? Unless you're just meaning those dogs are increasing the statistics because they already had them??


It's just not very prevalent up here - or at least didn't used to be. So the problem comes when un-tested puppies/dogs get moved up here. Then there are more dogs with HW for the mosquitos to bite and spread HW. People aren't all that vigilant about HW up here, so more influx of animals who have it raise the numbers overall past just the numbers actually coming up from the south.
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Postby Malli » September 29th, 2011, 2:36 am

I think the idea is the heartworm can't continue to exist in colder areas *except* via HW + dogs coming into the area and the HW being spread only via mosquitos that bite multiple dogs?
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Postby SisMorphine » September 29th, 2011, 10:39 am

Jenn wrote:I'm genuinely trying to "grasp" my head around this, not questioning you per say. ;)
Cause as I read that, the dogs in the South have to be HW+ and because they are bringing them else where, they are getting bit by the mosquito and biting dogs not born in the South?? I just don't understand how that could be a factor... By that logic, the rescued Southern dogs are HW+?? However, they have to get the HW the same way. OF course there are WAY more mosquitoes, hotter climates, etc. but I don't see how transporting a dog could cause the HW rate to increase in the area?? Unless you're just meaning those dogs are increasing the statistics because they already had them?? :confused:


The weather we have isn't the right kind to support certain parasites, such as heartworm. And I mean really, the whole thing is absurd as to how perfect the situation has to be for a dog, from anywhere, to get HW, nevermind a dog who is living someplace where that parasite literally can't survive the temps that occur for half of the year.

I would say that right now if I went to work and pulled files, about 60% of the dogs that were from a shelter or rescue were imported from the south (including my mother's dog). And though Mass has very strict regulations for importing dogs (and having been questioned in a few cases I know that they take all complaints seriously), there are these "rogue" transports/rescues that literally drop truckfulls of dogs in a parkinglot right over the border, and then people meet them there and bring the dogs into Mass without having gone through health clearances or treatments.
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Postby SisMorphine » September 30th, 2011, 12:24 pm

News from my vet this morning: Merial is starting to send out immiticide to the severe HW cases. Hopefully this is a precursor to it becoming available to the general public again. **fingers crossed**
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Postby amalie79 » September 30th, 2011, 12:29 pm

Thought of you this weekend, as the new Whole Dog Journal has an article about the drug shortage and about the alternate protocols being used instead.
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Postby SisMorphine » October 14th, 2011, 10:15 pm

Hey all. Sorry it's been a busy few weeks.

Blue started the slow kill treatment on my birthday (Oct 1st) without issue.

Teeny tested negative for HW last week.

Today my vet got a call from Merial that Blue is the next up on the list, so immiticide is currently available for him. He goes in on Monday for chest x-rays and then we will decide from there if we want to do the immiticide or continue with slow kill. Otherwise he's doing well, still not really showing signs, and we got the okay this week to take short leash walks to get some of his energy out.

The herbalist came last week and she mailed him a tincture that came in the mail today, but I was at work, so I'll pick it up tomorrow morning. Everything is looking up for my big blue monster.

Love him <3
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » October 14th, 2011, 10:45 pm

Lots of good thoughts for him! Keep us updated. :)
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Postby SisMorphine » October 19th, 2011, 5:52 pm

So Blue went in on Monday for x-rays. Even though he's not showing any signs of heatworm disease his heart does not look good. Ugh. He's going to need more injections than first thought.
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