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May 28, 2013

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Dusty

Hi Pat, I hope you didn't let your dog sleep and I hope the worst is over, Curious to know the situation and how did you manage. What was the Vet advice. Looking forward to know more

Cindy

Hi Doc. We live in Arizona and have a 4 1/2 year old German Shorthaired Pointer that we rescued out of New Mexico 2 years ago. We recently discovered that he has heartworm (never had him tested before) and he was treated in mid-August with two shots of immiticide. We're on week 4 1/2 now since his treatment, and while Fred has been pretty compliant with the exercise restrictions, he's clearly getting bored with having to be outside on a leash and not being able to play with our other dogs. I understand from information posted on your site--which is great, btw--that it takes about 4-5 weeks for the worms to be broken down in his system. Our plan is to keep him on the leash through week 6, then let him in the back yard off leash and allow him to play with the other dogs after that. Does that sound reasonable to you? Are we out of the woods by now? He's shown really no negative signs except for some cellulitis on his back near the injection site that appeared about day 10 and for which he was given 2 weeks worth of antibiotic. Our vet is great, but has seen few cases of heartworm in his career, so I thought I'd ask your opinion. Thank you so much for your help. The information on your site has been invaluable to us.

Cindy

Doc, please contact me via email as I have a request. Thank you in advance for your help.

Doc

Hello, Cindy,

Sorry about the late reply, but I was working at Scout Camp and no internet.

By six weeks you really should be "out of the woods". In rare cases, an artery weakened by the breakup of the dead worms can have problems when the dog returns to exercise. This can actually be bad enough to hemorrhage, coughing up blood. Again, this is rare.

We usually recommend a gradual return to exercise, instead of going full-on right away. We also recommend close observation for the first few days.

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