Hi Bloggy friends. Sorry I’ve been MIA for the past week or so, but I’m getting back into the being a student mode, and we’ve had a little puppy drama over here.
First of all, Dan and I are huge dog lovers. We knew that we wanted to adopt a rescue dog when we were finally in a place in our lives that would allow us to properly love and support one. Dogs are the best, aren’t they?
Monday night, Dan and I decided to take our poor Sophie girl into the vet because she has developed quite the nasty cough. She’s always had a slight raspy cough that she would do maybe once a week or so, just enough to gross us out. However, Sunday night, Sophie began coughing and it got so severe that she would cough, gag, then cough again for 10 to 15 minutes at a time. As soon as we could, we brought her into the vet’s office after work on Monday.
We were disturbed to be told that there was a very high chance that the cough was a symptom of heart worm. When we adopted Sophie from the dog rescue, we knew that she had a very mild case of heart worm. For those of you who are unfamiliar:
The parasite is commonly called “heartworm”; however, that is a misnomer because the adults actually reside in the pulmonary arterial system (lung arteries) for the most part, and the primary effect on the health of the animal is a manifestation of damage to the lung vessels and tissues. Occasionally, adult heartworms migrate to the right heart and even the great veins in heavy infections. Heartworm infection may result in serious disease for the host.
From what we understood, the medication that Sophie was already prescribed was (in theory) supposed to knock out the mild case that Sophie had. So you can imagine our panic and distress when the vet told us that she suspected that her case of heart worm was much more severe and advancing, causing her cough.
The treatment of heart worm is actually quite successful, but a lengthy and expensive process. According to the ASPCA’s website, the treatment of heart worm consists of:
How Is Heartworm Treated?
After diagnosis, a thorough examination of the infected dog should be conducted to evaluate the best course of treatment and the potential risks involved. The most common course of treatment is a series of injections of drugs called adulticides into the dogs’ muscle. This cure has a high success rate and usually requires hospitalization; in certain circumstances, however, it may be performed on an outpatient basis. However, all treatment protocols require several weeks of exercise restriction after treatment and are not without risk.
Leaving the vet’s office, fully suspecting to hear the worst confirmed with Sophie’s blood test, Dan and I went home and just loved loved loved on our sweet puppy. The idea that she was going to have to endure such a lengthy and stressful and painful process was absolutely heart breaking.
Our Sophie Situation weighed heavily on me all day Tuesday, checking my phone in between each class period to make sure that I didn’t miss the call from our vet’s office. Finally, around 4pm, Nurse Kelly called us with the amazing news that Sophie’s heart worm test results were negative!!!!
Nurse Kelly told us to come pick up some heart worm preventative medication and antibiotics for Sophie’s cough. You cannot believe how happy and relieved both Dan and I are that our sweet girl is ok. She’s only been in our lives for a little over four months, but we have come to love her with our whole hearts.