Monday, June 27, 2011

Heartworm Dog Darson Update

Darson has started his treatment. He had his first shot last week.

From his foster home:
Darson is coming along very well.  He doesn't really like the crate rest but he's managing.

He is eating all of his food and has gained 2 needed pounds since the treatment.  He is still drinking a lot of water but that's normal according to the vet. 

Good luck as you continue through your treatment Darson!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Why So Much?

Why does treatment for heartworm disease for one dog cost about as much as 28 years of year round prevention for one dog?

Short answer: Immiticide.
AKA Melarsomine (made by Merial)
  • Melarsomine is the drug of choice for the first stage and is effective for killing adult heartworms living in the arteries of the lungs.
  • Melarsomine is an arsenic-based drug. Although these drugs are known to kill adult heartworms, the exact method of the killing action is unknown.
  • Melarsomine is a prescription drug and can only be obtained from a veterinarian or by prescription from a veterinarian.   

Long answer another time!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Profiles in Heartworm

Lots of times we don't know much about the dogs we get, and their lives before coming to us.

With Mila, we do know enough to tell her Heartworm story and how she became infected. So we will start with her!

Mila was well loved and in a home for 8 years of her life. When her person got sick, she was taken in by relatives, saving her from a shelter. But not using the heartworm prevention that her person had gotten for her at Mila's last vet visit (we have the invoices - Mila was lucky to have a person who took good care of all her needs). So Mila was outside, in Western New York, without heartworm prevention. And she got heartworm disease.

We tested her in December when we got her, and she tested negative because the infection was just beginning and didn't show. But when we tested her in June, the adult worms were there and she was diagnosed with heartworm disease.

Heartworm happens in Upstate New York. We think it is happening more. Please consider helping us help the Heartworm Four by donating, forwarding, posting, and sending good thoughts out.
Mila playing with a friend while heartworms, unbeknownst to us, were starting to grow - they can be up to 12 inches long

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Why Heartworm?

Currently BDBH has FOUR Heartworm positive dogs, three of the last four dogs accepted into the program were heartworm positive. In our previous post we explained a little about heartworm. There is so much to tell!

We are going to blog about heartworm this summer. We'll talk about the mosquitoes, the prevention, the worms, the treatment. We will follow Mila as she goes through her treatment.

And hopefully, dog by dog, we will get the message out:
Preventing heartworm is...
1. Easier
2. Healthier
3. Cheaper
Than treating heartworm disease.

Right now, as we sometimes need to do, we are reaching out for reason #3: cost of heartworm treatment. Average cost locally for staging and treating heartworm is $700 for a medium-large dog.

So 4 HW+ dogs = approximately $2800
Or 336 large dog Interceptor heartworm prevention pills!
That's enough for 28 years of heartworm pills, if given year round!
Or 7 years of heartworm pills given year round per dog at prices found from a reputable online pet pharmacy.

So can you help us help these dogs go through heartworm treatment? All donations help, forwarding the flyer below and this blog, posting a link on your Facebook, Tweeting about heartworm (wouldn't it be cool to have Heartworm trending!), all of these things will help BDBH and these four wonderful dogs.

We have the Chip In set up for $400 per dog, but we can go over (always good to be optimistic) to cover the full treatment for each dog. Chip In is at the top right of the blog.

GOOD THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS IF YOU DO THEM - always gratefully accepted.

You can click on this to see it bigger, then arrow back to return to the blog. 

Friday, June 10, 2011

Did You Know? Blogging about Heartworm for BDBH
Although heartworm treatment can be dangerous, so are the heartworms themselves. Adult heartworms are large, growing up to 12 inches in length and living as long as five years. They can plug up the pulmonary arteries, and when the infestation becomes severe, they will start to back up into the heart and eventually fill it. They can cause blood clots, and force the heart to work abnormally hard to pump blood through the clogged arteries. In addition, heartworms cause an extreme inflammatory response in the arteries that can affect other parts of the body, especially the kidneys and liver. 

Treatment for heartworm infection is one area where conventional veterinary medicine offers valuable options.

Click here for a picture of adult heartworms:

More on the 

Monday, June 6, 2011

Happy Tails To You...

Willow and almost all of the P pups have been adopted. Thank you so much to their supporters!

Willow is enjoying her new home.

Free to be who she wants to be.

La la la I can't see you!

Sweet dreams, Willow, you did a great job. 

And now the babies...