Post # 1
I adopted a poodle in January, and he was heartworm positive. He had a pretty bad case, so the vet recommended three shots of Immiticide, which is basically arsenic that kills the worms. He had his first shot on 3/22, and he was supposed to have the 2nd and 3rd shots last Monday and Tuesday. I brought him in, but he was having stomach issues and a slight fever, so we decided to wait a week to make sure that he was feeling up to it. Well I dropped him off at the vet this morning and got a call that he had a really bad reaction to the second shot. The vet said that almost immediately after it was administered Melvin went into anaphylactic shock (a really bad allergic reaction), and they had to put a tube down his throat to give him oxygen, and he’s on IV meds. They called me a few hours ago to let me know that he’s now breathing on his own and walking around, which is great!
Bad news… the vet said that we can’t give him the third shot of Immiticide to get rid of the heartworms because of the reaction. He’ll have to be tested again in a month or so to see what the heartworm situation is like and how much organ damage there is. He’s going to stay on monthly heartworm preventative to prevent any new heartworms, but it could take two years for any remaining heartworms to die off. If there are too many left after the treatment, they could continue to do internal damage, and they may kill him. 🙁 I’m just hoping that the two shots will get rid of enough heartworms that he can live with them until they die. This makes me so upset. He’s like a child to me, and I know he has to die someday, but he’s only 1, so I didn’t think I’d have to worry about it for more than a decade. I know that things happen, but now he might die in a few years. 🙁
And another less important thing… the vet wouldn’t neuter Melvin until his heartworms were gone because there can be complications with the anesthesia from the heartworms, so now he might not be able to be neutered for years. I know it’s not the end of the world that he can’t be neutered, but I wanted to be able to bring him to doggie daycare one day during the week for him to socialize more, but he can’t go unless he’s neutered.
Sorry for the vent. I’m just so worried about the poor guy. The vet is going to call me tomorrow afternoon, and hopefully I can bring him home then.
Post # 3
You poor thing! My heart goes out to you. Can you take him to another vet for a second opinion about the heartworms? I don’t know too much about how it works but I feel like there should be more they can do. I’m so sorry and I’m saying a prayer for you and your pupster
Post # 4
🙁 Sorry. Poor doggie. I’m sorry that you are going through this. My hearts and prayers go out to you.
Post # 5
- Wedding: March 2010 - Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay
oh boston bee i am so sorry! that is heartbreaking. poor little guy. he is going to be so relieved to see you. i agree with saeliz–perhaps it’s worth getting another opinion? regardless, i am also sending very strong positive hope that the heartworms will die off after the two shots. at least he got to have 2 of them, so i’m going to hope for the best. i’m so sorry that you are all going through this…
Post # 6
I am so sorry for you puppy. I know I would not want any of my animals to go through this. I used to work in a vet’s office, so I have actually seen the heartworms. They are not pretty, and still give me nightmares, and it has been years since I have seen them. I can’t tell you what to do, but if it were me and his test doesn’t come back good, I would probably opt to put him to sleep. Heartworms are extremely painful.
Post # 7
I’m so sorry to hear this about your baby 🙁 I have 2 boys that are maltipoos and look like little poodles and just like you said, they are my children and I treat them as such! It’s really hard to go through stuff like this and you feel so helpless. One of mine has seizures from epilepsy and it’s the scariest thing in the world to watch but he’s alright, we have him on daily meds for it. I completely understand what it’s like to have a sick puppy but all you can do is just love them anways and make them as comfy as possible.
Just hang in there, you sound like a really great mommy to this little one and I hope everything works out for the best and he gets better soon. I wouldnt worry so much about the neutering part, just focus on him getting well and getting rid of the heartworms. Do you have any friends with dogs? Ha I’ve learned from my babies that they will play with ANY dog, big or small and adapt accordingly.
Try not to think about the worst case scenario, as hard as that may be, just hang in there and just love the little guy and make him comfy. I’m so sorry 🙁
Post # 8
Oh! Poor Melvin 🙁 I’m glad to hear that he’s breathing on his own and doing better. At least he got 2 of the 3 shots and hopefully that combined with the monthly heartworm meds is enough to patch him up like new. I’m so sorry to hear that he (and you) have had to go through this, and hopefully he is feeling better soon. I’ll definitely make sure to keep him in my prayers and we (our pugs and I) wish him a speedy recovery!
Post # 9
I’m so sorry! That’s awful. I’m so glad nothing worse happened, and I really hope that the heartworm doesn’t become a bigger issue now. Keep us updated; I’m sending good thoughts your way.
Post # 10
Oh no I am so so sorry 🙁 Poor little guy!!
I’m thinking about you and your pup and you’re in my prayers! Keep us all posted 🙂
Post # 11
Thanks for the well wishes! I’m really hoping that everything works out better. Melvin has already gone through so much (had a stroke, was paralyzed, was found outside), so I just want him to get better and live a normal life.
@noritake22–I know heartworms are really bad. If he tests for a lot of heartworms even after the two shots, then I’m going to weigh my options. I definitely do not want him to suffer, so if I have to put him to sleep, I will, but only as a last resort. I’ll try every other treatment option before that. Hopefully it won’t be an issue!
Post # 12
Oh no I’m so sorry. I don’t know anything about heart worms but that is so scary!
Post # 13
I hope it won’t be an issue either. It would be very sad for you to lose him when you just found him.
Post # 14
Poor little guy! Hopefully the first two shots did the trick. Also, I’ve heard that the heartworm preventative is actually used to treat low-grade heartworm infestations, (although I’m not a vet), so between the shots he did get and the continued heartworm pills, maybe he’ll be okay.
Post # 15
I’m sorry to hear that. I went through a similiar thing with my cat with his vaccines. When he was a kitten the first round made him sick not too sick to go to the vet. Then the second round made him very very sick that I rushed him back up there. They did the whole IV thing and get him back. So we had to make the decision to not vaccinate him any more. Which stinks knowing that he could pick-up something like Feline Luke or other but at the same time he is a healthy guy. So why run the risk each year of killing him to prevent something that may or may not take his life years down the road.
As for the heartworms. Our dog has them too. In fact most of the dogs I’ve ever had in my life had them. We just did the once a month heartworm meds to keep new ones from coming. Our dogs lived long lives too. I think it is something you and your vet need to workout together. And it doesn’t hurt to get a second vet to look at him
I’m glad to hear he’s doing better
Post # 16
UPDATE! So I brought Melvin home today. When I picked him up, the vet said that he thinks that 2 rounds of heartworm treatment plus monthly preventatives should be enough, but he’ll have to be tested in 6 months to see how many heartworms he has left. He had a pretty bad case, so it’s just a waiting game until we know how many are left after the treatment. If there aren’t that many, then they’ll just die off without doing much damage, but if he still has a lot left, then we’ll have to look into our options. I’m definitely considering taking him for a second opinion once he’s over this treatment, especially if he still has a lot of heartworms. But he’s doing fine for now, and the vet was optimistic about his prognosis, which is great news! Thanks again for all the well wishes!