So yesterday I mentioned that Jake would have to be kept calm for the next 30 days, let me explain for those who have never treated a dog for heartworm disease. Treatment involves a lot of preparation and is dependent on the condition of the dog when diagnosed. There is a lot of misleading terms out there and some of this is the result of misunderstanding and unfortunately some Vets are just as responsible as everyone else in creating the confusion. I don't claim to be an expert, Jake is the first dog I have gone through this with. The test is a simple blood test and your dog can be diagnosed at one of 3 to 4 levels. Jake was diagnosed at level 1 which basically means he has tested positive for heart worms but is not exhibiting any symptoms like coughing or intolerance to exercise. This plus the fact that he is young and healthy are all very positive.
For Jake there was a few month build up during which time he was put on a monthly preventative and given a medication to kill the baby and migrating worms. Then he was given 2 injections 24 hrs apart starting on the 22nd to kill the adult worms. Over the next 7-10 days the adult worms will die. There is still significant danger because they are in his heart and possibly his lungs with no where to go but into the blood stream. Over time his body will slowly dissolve them. The danger lies in taxing his heart via exercise that has the potential to cause a large part of the dead worms to enter his blood stream causing a clot and possibly death. Thus he needs to be kept calm for at least 30 days and then very slowly returned to exercise. In some cases it is recommended to crate your dog for the duration. My plan is to crate him as he starts acting up. Jake is pretty much a couch potato most of the time, so I'll let him crash where he wants and if he starts acting up then I'll use the crate. He actually loves his crate and retreats to it often on his own so I'm no worried that he'll be upset when he is put in there. I can't imagine going through this with a high strung dog.
"Jake and Bobo"
Polaroid SX-70 Sonar, Impossible PX-600 (Batch 6/10)
Developed using Hot/cold clip for 4 minutes