We would like you to meet a very special greyhound with heartworm infection named Jilly Bean. She came to us a couple of weeks ago and she’s been undergoing some tests to help us plan the best course for her continued treatment. The first round of test results came back a few days ago and we are hopeful that she can make a full recovery. Her organs are functioning normally and her blood values are within normal range. Her physical exam went well and our vet was so pleased when she could not hear any signs of heartworm infestation in her heart or lungs and she was showing no clinical signs, like shortness of breath, coughing or fatigue. We are thankful that the folks at Mobile Greyhound Park Adoptions caught this in the early stages and started treatment and we are honored that we can continue to provide for her medical needs.
Although heartworm infestation is relative rare in racing and newly retired greyhounds, due to the diligence of caretakers providing regular heartworm prevention, no prevention is 100% effective in all dogs. We are learning a great deal from Jilly Bean’s case and she has reminded us to never take heartworm for granted. (NOTE: For more information on heartworm, please check out the American Heartworm Society at http://www.heartwormsociety.org/)
Over the next month, Jill will be give an antibiotic called minocycline that will kill off the bacteria around her heart that the worms feed on. This drug, taken twice daily, should weaken and perhaps kill off some of the worms. Jill will continue with her monthly heartworm prevention (ivermectin) and on May 14th, Jill will receive her first injected dose of a medication designed to kill the worms. She will need to stay in the hospital for observation the entire day. Jill will receive several more injections monthly and will be retested for heartworm in six months. We may need to take some x-rays of her heart, depending on how her treatment goes.
We are extremely grateful to David and Melissa, managers at East Cherokee Storage in Woodstock, GA and Leaving Tracks, Inc. for their very generous donation that should just about cover Jill’s vet bills.
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