Monday, January 10, 2011

Heartworms are scary

So we know Shelby is HW+ but we do not know what her load is. Is she mild or moderate or severe? Tomorrow I am taking her to my vet to find out. With her hunting prey drive in full effect, I am noticing her hacking up phlegm after sprinting around the yard and in/out of bushes looking for critters to kill. A cough is not a good sign for a HW+ dog. I am forever haunted by a friend who lost her rescue dog very suddenly after receiving a low + on his HW test treated by monthly heartworm medication. After treatment, he died running in the yard in front of them as a result of having all male heartworms discovered during necropst- the antigen test only looks for antibodies for female adult heartworms; there must be at least 5 adult female worms to receive a positive hit on the test. This was a very rare case but very real and continues to be on my mind as a what if.

Be sure to keep your dog on heartworm preventative. You can read more here

ps- outdoor cats can also become infected so be sure to treat your cats as well though I will tell you as domesticated animals they would be better off inside 24/7.

pps- I bet you won't be eating spaghetti for dinner tonight, will you?


  1. Our Wilbur got his monthly heartworm pill yesterday. I hope Shelby's treatments go well for her and she's not too uncomfortable.

  2. Heartworms are so scary. It is really worth taking the monthly preventative rather than risking it