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 No microfilaria but heart worm positive. Your recommendations greatly appreciated.

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Special~K
Newborn
Newborn
Special~K

Male Join date : 2013-03-26
Location : Lafayette, LA

No microfilaria but heart worm positive. Your recommendations greatly appreciated. Empty
PostSubject: No microfilaria but heart worm positive. Your recommendations greatly appreciated.   No microfilaria but heart worm positive. Your recommendations greatly appreciated. EmptyWed Apr 20, 2016 11:48 pm

I can't believe I am here typing this... I got some pretty devastating news today and I am not sure which way to go.

A little over 3 years ago I purchased my first dog, Fenrisulfr. "Fen" is a pure bread Sibe, he is my son, and he is all I have. As embarrassed as I am to admit this, I had no clue that I was supposed to be giving him a HW preventative. Fen has never showed any sign of illness, been sick or anything like that. He is a beautiful, healthy pup. A customer of mine in the midst of our conversation mentioned that her dog was currently being treated for HW, and brought me up to speed on the situation. I immediately brought Fen to the vet today, and he tested positive. He has no microfilaria. The 2nd line on the little test they used that shows positive just BARELY showed, but showed none the less. I am devastated.

I am aware of forum "etiquette" and I know that most likely someone is going to chime in telling me to use the search function, and I assure you that as soon as I post this I will be doing so... all night to educate myself as much as possible. I remember registering on this forum when I first got Fen, and I just would very much rather hear your breed specific experiences and recommendations.

As of this moment, with the little time I have had to talk and read since getting home from the vet it appears I have 3 options (as explained by my vet).

1) Immiticide. My vet (who I do not trust very much) claims a 70% survival rate and says that it will rid Fen of these things in 8 weeks. I am also supposed to keep him calm, which will be hard I am sure. If the doorbell rings, if a bird lands in the back yard, if a dog barks on TV, Fen is amped. We also play both inside and outside of my house almost daily. My customer told me about a friend of hers who was treating her dog with the same thing, the doorbell rang, and her dog ran to the door and dropped dead. This is terrifying to me, but it almost seems like the best way verses the alternatives second to the last option listed below. I will add that my vet suggested no antibiotics or steroids, which my customer informed me that her dog was ordered to take both before starting treatment, as well as during.

2) Ivermectin. It is my understanding that this is a once per month preventative that my vet suggest giving twice per month to kill existing HWs over the course of 6 months to a year. I was told that I am to keep Fen calm for the duration as well, and this just seems like torture. Am I really going to keep a 3 year old sibe "calm" for a year?! I don't think so. The little I have read has told me that this will not kill existing HWs, but only prevent new ones... and also that it is dangerous if their are existing adults. Again, I will be researching this as soon as this is posted, so bare with my lack of knowledge. I would really like to hear your opinions on this method.

3) Proheart Injections. It is my understanding that this injection will only prevent new HWs as well, but will allow the adults to run their course so to speak and then die off. My vet told me the lifespan was 1-2 years, but I am reading that it can be as much as 5-7. Why am I getting so many different answers!? I am torn between option 1 and this one, and leaning towards this one. Fen is otherwise happy/healthy, and this seems to be the less risky option. I don't not know what kind of damage the adults are/can cause, but I don't like the idea of rolling the dice. I don't like the idea of kenneling my boy up for one of the best years of his life and living terrified that the next time he perks up he can drop dead.

I am aware that my ignorance is the reason that I am posting this, and I assure you I feel terrible... so go easy on bashing me. This is hard enough as it is. I just want to free my boy of these stupid things, and I want him to continue to live a long, happy life. I don't think I have to tell any of you in such a forum that this isn't some backyard dog. He is, and has been beside me most of everyday since the age of 6 weeks, and we are connected so to speak. He is my son. Your advice and knowledge is greatly appreciated. I am off to research in the meantime...

-Kenny

P.s. I'd like to add that I just got this news hours ago, and thought that before doing anything that I should read up on this and talk to you guys first. I will be making a decision and carrying it out this Friday.
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MiyasMomma
Senior
Senior
MiyasMomma

Female Join date : 2014-06-26
Location : west Texas

No microfilaria but heart worm positive. Your recommendations greatly appreciated. Empty
PostSubject: Re: No microfilaria but heart worm positive. Your recommendations greatly appreciated.   No microfilaria but heart worm positive. Your recommendations greatly appreciated. EmptyThu Apr 21, 2016 12:33 am

Kenny, I am so sorry to hear this.....I really do not have much to offer except get a second opinion first and foremost. Secondly, many, many dogs have heartworm worse than your dog and survive treatment and live a happy life, it is rampant in rescues. Third if you haven't read this please do so, this is from the top people who know all about heart worm.

https://www.heartwormsociety.org/heartworm-positive-dogs

I believe they recommend a second test, and also give clear treatment plans. Since you do not trust your current vet I think it more important to get a second opinion first, even if you spend more money and you get the same answer. It sounds like your dog is in an early stage, so a few days imo, is not going to change much for your dog.

I hope others will chime in. One thing I will say, I have mine on preventives. But I never recall while growing up that my parents gave a heart worm preventive, or if it was an issue in the 70s, 80s, 90's. I also had a cat that was heartworm positive, and even back then early 2000s, the vet said let it go and enjoy your cat. I am not saying do not treat your dog, please do so, I only say these things to help relax you a bit so you know that getting a second opinion is more important than to dive into any treatments that you are not 100% sure on. get all your facts, get the second opinion and then decide on treatment. Please keep us posted on everything. It is something all of us I am sure can sympathize with you on.
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Special~K
Newborn
Newborn
Special~K

Male Join date : 2013-03-26
Location : Lafayette, LA

No microfilaria but heart worm positive. Your recommendations greatly appreciated. Empty
PostSubject: Re: No microfilaria but heart worm positive. Your recommendations greatly appreciated.   No microfilaria but heart worm positive. Your recommendations greatly appreciated. EmptyThu Apr 21, 2016 1:06 am

@MiyasMomma wrote:
Kenny, I am so sorry to hear this....


Thank you for the kind words, I am keeping an eye on this thread regularly. What I have been reading is scaring the hell out of me right now. I do think I am going to get a second opinion, but I was in there when they drew the blood and did the test. Fen looked at me like "no, Dad... don't leave me". I didn't leave them any other option, lol. As of right now, I think that tmw we are going Vet shopping for someone I like. We are going to live this weekend together like its our last, and then I will make my decision on a plan and begin treatment. I have tried to find the few members that have posted about positive results here (one that lives in my area) via facebook, because they appear to have posted and not updated after. Nothing yet. I will be posting throughout his treatments in hopes to help someone else. We are fighters, and we are going to give it all we've got.

Again, thanks for the kind words. I needed them. It's just really tough right now knowing all of this could've been prevented. It seems I read everything about the Siberian Husky there was to read aside from the basics of owing a dog. He has defied nearly every single negative thing I read about the breed before purchasing. He's such a great little man, and now he's going to suffer now because of me. Hard pill to swallow.
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Loki_Weston
Puppy
Puppy
Loki_Weston

Male Join date : 2016-02-08
Location : Windsor Ontario Canada

No microfilaria but heart worm positive. Your recommendations greatly appreciated. Empty
PostSubject: Re: No microfilaria but heart worm positive. Your recommendations greatly appreciated.   No microfilaria but heart worm positive. Your recommendations greatly appreciated. EmptyThu Apr 21, 2016 1:35 am

I cannot say anything in regards to which treatment to go with. With that being said i am in a Siberian Husky facebook group and a members dog recently tested positive for heartworm. I am almost certain that he was given the Ivermectin to treat it, however the dog seemingly had an allergic reaction to the medication. It was a rare condition that caused his immune system to be depleted, and because it also was treating the heartworms, the poor dog ended up passing after struggling to survive. Currently the cause is being investigated, but to most it seems like that is what happened.

 Because it is a rare reaction i would not worry about it very much, however i would maybe mention it to your vet to see if it is something that they could give a smaller initial dose, to make sure no reactions happen, and then continue with the full dosage.

 That story hit close to home for me because i myself have an extremely rare allergy to a certain antibiotic, that will likely kill me if i ever have it again. I think my particular allergy is 1 in 500,000 people. But its worth mentioning just in case, maybe there is a way to make sure things like that never happen if we are careful.

I wish you the best and most sincere hopes for your pup to make a full recovery.
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jspec0482
Puppy
Puppy
jspec0482

Female Join date : 2016-02-13
Location : Georgia

No microfilaria but heart worm positive. Your recommendations greatly appreciated. Empty
PostSubject: Re: No microfilaria but heart worm positive. Your recommendations greatly appreciated.   No microfilaria but heart worm positive. Your recommendations greatly appreciated. EmptyThu Apr 21, 2016 1:41 am

I have a heart worm positive dog and our vet wants to do both the ivermectin (to kill babies and weaken adult worms) and the immiticide (which we won't start until this summer, I'm a school teacher and I will be able to be home with her during the summer, she was supposed to start the immiticide but I was terrified I'd come home to a dead dog). Anyway, the ivermectin treatment isn't bad at all and I haven't seen any side effects for her, I don't restrict her 100% of the time, as in I do let her out of the crate, but if she was a more active dog I would not (she isn't a husky, we got her from a shelter in September so no clue on the breed).

If I'm being honest, I'm really struggling with doing the immiticide because of the risks and even though her vet recommends it, I'm leaning towards sticking with the "slow kill" method or the ivermectin treatment.

Unfortunately all your options are risky, but slow kill looks like the least stressful of the treatments to me. It is my understanding that the immiticide is very serious, not to be played with, can all out kill them very quickly (the dog not the heart worm). There's more of a risk of a heart worm dislodging with the slow kill but it's because the dog is on that treatment for a longer amount of time.

I'm sorry there isn't an easy answer, having a heart worm positive dog means picking the best out of a bunch of bad options. Charley is 3 years old also, it is important to go ahead and at least start an ivermectin treatment to weaken existing worms and prevent new worms as soon as possible. My understanding is that's the first step. They also have to take antibiotics for 20 days with the immiticide twice per day. And every time Charley gets her heart guard she has to take Benadryl.

Hope that all makes sense, but that's what our experience has been.
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amymeme
Senior
Senior
amymeme

Female Join date : 2013-12-20

No microfilaria but heart worm positive. Your recommendations greatly appreciated. Empty
PostSubject: Re: No microfilaria but heart worm positive. Your recommendations greatly appreciated.   No microfilaria but heart worm positive. Your recommendations greatly appreciated. EmptyThu Apr 21, 2016 1:53 am

I believe there is a slow kill protocol that starts with doxycycline as a pretreatment and then goes to the imiticide along with steps tobemanage side effects.  I, too, am familiar with the fb dog that had a bad systemic reaction to the treatment.  Similar to one of the two true dermatologic human emergencies... also in respond to a drug. That was the first I've ever heard of such a thing.

I would definitely get a 2nd opinion.  And a 2nd test.  I'm forever seeing rescue dogs advertised as "finishing heartworm tx"  so though there are risks in the tx, it seems as lots of dogs survive,

And, yes heartworm was known in the 70's...i gave a huge tablet, I think it was daily, too, to my first Siberian.
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amymeme
Senior
Senior
amymeme

Female Join date : 2013-12-20

No microfilaria but heart worm positive. Your recommendations greatly appreciated. Empty
PostSubject: Re: No microfilaria but heart worm positive. Your recommendations greatly appreciated.   No microfilaria but heart worm positive. Your recommendations greatly appreciated. EmptyThu Apr 21, 2016 1:57 am

Also... before the ivermectin, you might want the genetic test for... damn can't remember at the moment...multiple drug sensitivity or something like that.
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Special~K
Newborn
Newborn
Special~K

Male Join date : 2013-03-26
Location : Lafayette, LA

No microfilaria but heart worm positive. Your recommendations greatly appreciated. Empty
PostSubject: Re: No microfilaria but heart worm positive. Your recommendations greatly appreciated.   No microfilaria but heart worm positive. Your recommendations greatly appreciated. EmptyThu Apr 21, 2016 2:20 am

VERY good info about the allergies, THANK you! I will definitely mention this to whichever vet we choose tomorrow. It's so tough to choose... I like the slow kill because of the fact that it seems less harmful, but then there's that dang extended time to hold your breath. The 8 week deal is much more expensive... but it seems more realistic as far as keeping Fen "calm". It'll be tough, but with some Valium and a lot of love I think we could do it. The idea of wasting one of his last youthful years on a leash, unable to chase squirrels and run in the yard just doesn't sit right with me. But then again, neither does taking such a big risk. UGH... this is so hard! I can't read anymore... it's just getting me worked up and worrying me. I think I need to be strong for Fen right now. I'm going to call it a night, and enjoy my little man. We are going to hit it hard tomorrow and figure out what we are going to do. Again, thank you all for the info and taking the time to share. I knew this was the right place to come. Good night all.
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MiyasMomma
Senior
Senior
MiyasMomma

Female Join date : 2014-06-26
Location : west Texas

No microfilaria but heart worm positive. Your recommendations greatly appreciated. Empty
PostSubject: Re: No microfilaria but heart worm positive. Your recommendations greatly appreciated.   No microfilaria but heart worm positive. Your recommendations greatly appreciated. EmptyThu Apr 21, 2016 12:44 pm

Kenny, if you get a chance to see this what Amy was mentioning is the MDR1 gene mutation. It is something I would test just to make sure, University of Washington are the ones testing dogs for this. Much more common in herding dogs like collies, but has also shown up in german shepherds, it is a test that I would do, because any breed could have the issue. I contacted the school with some questions, and from what I understand, low levels of ivermectin is safe, higher doses for use of killing heart worm is not safe with dogs with that mutation. I believe the cost is around $60 to get him tested. Again, at this point, since he is not showing signs, see another vet, get the heart worm test done again since it is standard protocol for heart worm and get the MDR1 test done, then decide on the appropriate plan of treatment. Keep us posted Kenny!! He is a beautiful dog.
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Special~K
Newborn
Newborn
Special~K

Male Join date : 2013-03-26
Location : Lafayette, LA

No microfilaria but heart worm positive. Your recommendations greatly appreciated. Empty
PostSubject: Re: No microfilaria but heart worm positive. Your recommendations greatly appreciated.   No microfilaria but heart worm positive. Your recommendations greatly appreciated. EmptyThu Apr 21, 2016 9:22 pm

Hey guys, looong day at the hospital today and I think I've made my decision. I think I could sleep a little better if I ran it by you guys first. Ill be posting it tonight after I take care of a few customers and blow off some steam in the gym.
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Special~K
Newborn
Newborn
Special~K

Male Join date : 2013-03-26
Location : Lafayette, LA

No microfilaria but heart worm positive. Your recommendations greatly appreciated. Empty
PostSubject: Re: No microfilaria but heart worm positive. Your recommendations greatly appreciated.   No microfilaria but heart worm positive. Your recommendations greatly appreciated. EmptyFri Apr 22, 2016 12:50 am

So, I THINK we found a good vet today. We had a second test done and unfortunately got the same results. This time there were 3 dots, one control, one for positive, and a third for a "hard positive". Luckily, the third did not show up. Fen is in otherwise great health and is showing no symptoms. His heart and lungs sound great.

The vet spent about an hour explaining things to me, and ultimately suggested we move forward with the immicticide (or however you spell it) treatment. She gave me two options.

1) 2 injections, 4 weeks.
2) 3 injections (slow kill) over two months... this one being the "safest".

This vet, unlike the other, suggested prednisone (Steriods) and doxycycline (antibiotics) throughout and after the treatment. What sucks is my neighbors brother is a well established vet, and he said that I shouldn't risk it, that I should only use "Advantage multi" topical to kill them off over the course of a couple years. That seems to me a bit too long to keep my dog pinned up and to wonder if today will be the day I find him lifeless. Above all else, it seems a bit selfish to do this to him. I am leaning towards the treatment... get it done, and done right. Quick. The 3 injection deal is going to run me $1100.00. Fen is priceless... I'm going try to get a loan tmw ( I am victim of the oil field crash here... lost my job a while back, the girl, possibly my house in the near future. I cant lose Fen).

Our plan as of now is this: We are going to have a blowout weekend together. There is a festival international here this weekend, and I am able to bring him downtown with me. We are going to the dog park, the festival, pee on anything and everything we want, and eating steak. This weekend will be his last active for the nest few months. Monday we are scheduled to start his preventative (Proheart) and the first round of antibiotics. If all goes well, we will began treatment in 2 weeks. My plan is to disable the doorbell and put up signs (large posters saying if you knock you will be shot, lol). They want to keep Fen overnight for the first injection and for the 2nd/3rd a month later. She did mention that after they close there will be no one there. I don't think I am going to go for this. I am going to schedule his injections in the morning, spend the day in the office, and then take him home with me at night. I don't see the worms breaking down instantly and Fen has VERY bad separation anxiety. I don't want him depressed at any time during this and I just think he'll be better off in his house. Besides, if he does stay over night and then I show up the next day he is going to go crazy when he sees me... that's scary. I don't want him alone, and should something happen he needs to have his dad there beside him. What do you all think about this?

I think writing here and documenting this is going to be my therapy from hear on out. It seems to help me a little, as this is very hard for me. I encourage you all to read whats going on and please offer your opinions on my decisions. I have read and read and read as much as I can, and to be honest its only scaring the hell out of me. I think I am going to stop, put it in my vets hands and just be here for my boy every step of the way. That being said, I would very much like to hear all of your thoughts on the way I am handling this. Thanks again for all of the info and the kind words. We are going to give this everything we have!

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MiyasMomma
Senior
Senior
MiyasMomma

Female Join date : 2014-06-26
Location : west Texas

No microfilaria but heart worm positive. Your recommendations greatly appreciated. Empty
PostSubject: Re: No microfilaria but heart worm positive. Your recommendations greatly appreciated.   No microfilaria but heart worm positive. Your recommendations greatly appreciated. EmptyFri Apr 22, 2016 1:16 am

Kenny, although I know of no one who has gone thru this, I think you have a good plan. I am glad you found a vet you feel comfortable with, and also one who took the time to talk to you. Yes, take him home, explain all of this to your vet, let them know that you will do whatever is necessary, so pick him up at the end of their day, bring him back if you have to first thing when they open, but I am with you on taking him home. If need be, call your vet in the morning, if you didn't read my post last night on the MDR1 mutation, this vet sounds up on things, but mentioning it I feel is important. If you already have, then ignore me on that topic.

The therapy aspect and the hope that someone else may be helped in a similar situation is wonderful. Too often this happens here, someone comes on, but then never follows thru, and although I think we all can understand, it is good for all of us to help each other out, and posting updates really makes a difference for someone in the future, but to be selfishly honest, this community, this forum, loves huskies and truly care about the out come, we care about that person going thru something with their husky, because we know it could happen to any of us. I wish you and Fen one heck of a weekend being a carefree dog, Smile

Renee
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No microfilaria but heart worm positive. Your recommendations greatly appreciated. Empty
PostSubject: Re: No microfilaria but heart worm positive. Your recommendations greatly appreciated.   No microfilaria but heart worm positive. Your recommendations greatly appreciated. Empty

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