Monday, February 15, 2010

The trouble with Heartworm

Our featured dog, Rain is recovering from Heartworm treatment.

Here's a dog that might have had people love her. But they didn't love her quite enough. She was found as a stray (strike one against her former people). She was matted and soaked to the skin from being left in the cold January rains (strike two). Planned Pethood took her in and tried to find her people. Not that they deserved to get her back. But it's the right thing to do.

As part of her visit to the vet, we discovered she had heartworms (strike three). It's hard to understand how people still don't understand heartworm and the importance to prevent it. I just don't get it.

Rain took the treatment like a trooper. She felt lousy the first day and even WORSE the second day. Her usual perky self was laying on the floor panting heavily in pain. Her usual greetings of kisses were replaced with a moan as she lifted her head off her pillow.

But you can't keep a good dog down. Rain is pretty much back to her perky self. This is when the recovery process is agony. This is when it becomes painful for everyone, not just Rain.

Rain wants to frolic in the yard. She wants to race up and down the stairs. She wants to wrestle with her dog friend. She wants to have you chase her. But we can't. If a dog recovering from heartworm treatment is allowed to get overly excited they can throw a blood clot. This means she can have a stroke from a brain embolism. Rain can have a heart attack from an embolism. Or she can just drop down dead. Scary stuff, huh?

She has to be kept away from her doggie friend so they can't get each other wound up. Instead, like Lady and The Tramp they touch noses through the baby gate separating them. Rain has to go from room to room escorted by a human to stop her from leaping and jumping in glee. When she brings her humans a ball and wants you to play with her, the ball must be put away. Sorry gal, we can't play today. Poor Rain. Her doggie friend doesn't understand and it breaks her humans' heart as well.

Meanwhile the agony will continue until Rain is released from medical care. We have March 18th written in red on our calendar. That's when we think Rain will get the thumbs up from the vet.

Give your dog heartworm preventative, please.

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