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Old 02-22-2010, 07:15 PM
CVP CVP started this thread
 
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I'm planning on adopting a dog and have narrowed it down to two choices, both currently being fostered. I just found out the one dog, a wonderful chocolate lab, is currently receiving treatment for a "light" case of heartworm. What should I be asking the adoption group about the dog's situation? Should I be concerned about adopting a dog with this issue? Will a light case affect her long-term health? I'm obviously concerned and thought I'd ask the experts here for advice. I'm also researching the issue on the Internet. I've had dogs before, but never dealt with heartworm...just prevention! TIA!
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Old 02-22-2010, 07:22 PM
 
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As long as they're treating it, and you'll get him after the treatment, there should be no problem. But make sure he ALWAYS gets his heartworm treatment every month, just as you would with any dog!
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Old 02-22-2010, 08:35 PM
 
Location: Wasilla, Alaska
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CVP View Post
I'm planning on adopting a dog and have narrowed it down to two choices, both currently being fostered. I just found out the one dog, a wonderful chocolate lab, is currently receiving treatment for a "light" case of heartworm. What should I be asking the adoption group about the dog's situation? Should I be concerned about adopting a dog with this issue? Will a light case affect her long-term health? I'm obviously concerned and thought I'd ask the experts here for advice. I'm also researching the issue on the Internet. I've had dogs before, but never dealt with heartworm...just prevention! TIA!
Once the treatment has been completed, the dog should be heart-worm free. However, just because he has been treated for heart-worms does not mean he cannot get heart-worms again. As you probably already know, all dogs are subject to heart-worms in every state in the Union, except Alaska. So you will need to provide heart-worm protection for any dog you obtain for the rest of its life, unless of course you live in Alaska.
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Old 02-22-2010, 08:42 PM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
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Usually if the case is caught early enough, there's no real lasting damage. If it's a severe case (doesn't sound like this is), it's dangerous for a dog to over exert itself.

We have a lot of heartworm positive dogs come through my rescue (we pull them from rural shelters in the carolinas, where it's very prevalent), and 99% of them bounce back without issue.
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Old 02-22-2010, 09:08 PM
 
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Ask them what their idea of "treatment" is. Sometimes for a light positive on a snap test, dogs can be treated with heartgard over a period of time. Other than that, it's usually a couple of injections and an overnight stay (if I remember correctly). Every vet has different methods, but that's pretty standard.

You'll need to have the dog tested on a timetable set up by your vet to ensure that the treatment worked. Make sure you talk to a vet about the type of heartworm preventative you use - I believe Heartgard is most appropriate in a dog who has tested positive.
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Old 02-22-2010, 09:39 PM
 
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FWIW, we adopted a "light" heartworm positive dog. He wasn't treated with anything other than Heartguard. Eight months later he tested heartworm negative (although he wasn't tested along the way, so we don't know when he went from + to -).

He had no issues - I'd asked about limiting exercise, but the vet who runs this specific rescue said not necessary (other than the routine "build 'em back up" after a dog comes out of rescue).

He's fine.
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Old 02-23-2010, 05:47 AM
CVP CVP started this thread
 
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Thanks everyone for your helpful replies. I plan on contacting the rescue group this morning to get some additional information. Now I know what to ask. This forum is great!
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