Hi, everyone. I know you’ve seen heartworm questions a million times, but I’m still paranoid, so I’m asking too. My apologies for the length.
We adopted Iggy, our mini Schnauzer, in July of last year. He tested negative for heartworms, and we’ve had him on monthly Heartguard ever since. And a few weeks ago he was diagnosed with a mild case of heartworms anyway. The microfilariae (spelling?) test was negative, but he’s got adult worms.
He had a month of antibiotic, and on Wednesday and Thursday he got his two Immiticide injections. He’s now on Prednisone and Tramadol, and he’s home and crated — we’re on day 2 of 30 days’ strict confinement. The TV’s off, I’ve got a playlist of “Music Through A Dog’s Ear” volumes 1-3 on constant repeat, calming treats a couple of times a day (not sure if the music and treats help him, but they’re not hurting and make me feel like I’m doing something, so they’re helping me), he’s got rawhide and chew balls in his crate with him, and I’m able to work from home to monitor him. The door’s shut and the blinds are closed so he can’t see/hear any people or animals outside. He seems resigned to life in his crate, and so far he’s not fighting it. And my husband is fine with me staying in the downstairs spare room where Iggy is, and doing all of the shopping, etc. himself, so I don’t have to leave Iggy at all. (We have a split-foyer – the “spare room” is actually half the ground floor, so it’s not too hard for me to hang out here most of the time.) 🙂
Trouble is, Iggy’s always been WAY too friendly. If he sees kids or other dogs, he goes “I MUST PLAY WITH YOU NOW!!!!” and he pulls at the leash, shrieks, and tries to run to them. Our block has 6 houses spaced far apart, a few kids, and two neighbors have chihuahuas that they let run loose up and down the street (ugh). No fences (them or me).
I’ve kept Iggy’s outdoor potty breaks short, and we move slowly when he’s out, but a couple of times he’s seen a kid or a dog and suddenly started pulling at the leash and whining. I’m keeping the leash very short so he can’t break into a run, but he tries anyway. I’ve managed to get in front of him, get his attention and calm him, but it takes a few seconds, during which time he’s agitated and I’m sure his heart rate is rising.
So. I know his activity has to be restricted, and it’s usually pretty well in hand, but some of his potty breaks are scary. I’m trying to time them so there’s nobody out when he is, but that’s not always possible.
So far he’s okay, but from what I understand, the post-treatment danger hasn’t peaked yet. What are the odds that the “OMG I MUST PLAY WITH YOU” moments will do lasting damage?
Thanks for reading all of this.
They really can kill your dog. The moment he sees someone or something that he thinks he has to play with, scoop him up and take him inside. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but I’ve seen exactly this situation go very bad. The vets I worked for went so far as to not treat dogs that the owners could not keep quiet, or give valium to keep dogs quiet. Don’t leave your yard at all, and carry him in and out if you have to, to keep him quiet.
Thanks. I’ve actually been taking him out a side door, keeping him right next to the house, and trying to keep him away from the neighbors. The trouble is that the houses are far enough apart that it’s easy for him to see the neighbors’ kids and pets if they’re out, even if they’re in front of their own homes. Ugh.
Thinking… hmm. He has a Thundershirt; maybe that will take the edge off a little bit. And I have a wheelbarrow — I’ll just wheel him to a secluded spot if I have to. I’ll come up with something.
To clarify, he’s large for a mini Schnauzer — about 27 pounds, and big enough that quickly picking him up can be awkward and, if done wrong, stressful for him. Not rejecting the “carry him” idea outright; just coming up with alternatives.
Maybe even temporarily put up fence panels around that door.
Oh, I meant to also say, Thanks for rescuing!
Sounds like a regular Schnauzer, not a mini.
- This reply was modified 7 years, 2 months ago by theBCnut.
theBCnut, thanks for your help. I couldn’t figure out how to make the fence panel idea work, especially given the urgency — but I did go out and get a kennel, 6′ by 10′ with 6′ high sides, and a couple of 6′ tarps. The kennel will be set up right outside our side door, and the tarps will hang on the sides to block his view of anything that could excite him. That’s his bathroom for the next month. He’ll be walked on a leash in there, obviously. Hopefully it’ll be a pretty well-controlled environment.
I ordered the genetic test from Amazon just for fun when I first adopted him, and the results came back showing nothing but mini. I’m inclined to think he didn’t come from a reputable breeder, though. But he’s still the greatest dog in the universe, so it’s okay. 🙂
OH! The kennel idea was fantastic!! Good luck with your little treasure, ok, medium treasure. LOL! I’m truly glad he found you.
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