September Case of the Month

posted: by: LT & MP Tags: "Clinic Specials" "News" 

Cooper is a 5 year old male Labrador Retriever that presented for coughing. Cooper is an outdoor dog and has lots of room to run and play with his brothers and sisters.  Appetite is normal. He is not on any heartworm or flea prevention. He is up to date on yearly vaccinations. Cooper does not go to dog parks or daycare.

Cooper was found to be bright, alert, and responsive on examination. His body condition score is 7/9 which is mildly overweight. He has a grade 1 out of 4 dental disease (mild plaque buildup). During his examination a dry cough was noted. The cough is nonproductive (no discharge is noted from his eyes or nose during the coughing episodes). His pulses are normal and his lymph nodes are all of normal size. No abnormal lung changes were heard in his chest. 

An in house antigen Heartworm test was performed. The test showed that Cooper is POSITIVE for heartworms. 

Heartworm disease is caused by infestation with Dirofilaria immitis. When a mosquito carrying infective heartworm larvae bites a dog and transmits infection, the larvae grow and migrate in the body over a period of months. These worms actually reside in the heart, lungs, and associated blood vessels. This can lead to lethargy, coughing, pale gums, weak pulses, and fluid build up in the belly.   

Cooper’s family opted for starting heartworm treatment immediately.  First Cooper had bloodwork, chest x-rays, and urine testing performed.  

The treatment used for Cooper was an organic arsenical compound, melarsomine dihydrochloride, also known as immiticide.   
Cooper was hospitalized for his heartworm treatment. He was given injections of melarsomine dihydrochloride in the musculature of his back.  He was also sent home on oral medications to assist in his treatment.  

For the next 30 days, Cooper was on strict exercise RESTRICTION. No running, jumping, or playing to avoid complications with his heartworm treatment. 

Cooper returned in 30 days for his next heartworm treatment in the clinic. Cooper did very well with his treatments and his cough improved dramatically.  Cooper was placed on heartworm prevention


Be sure to keep your beloved dog on heartworm prevention year round!! There are several options to keep your sweet boy or girl safe, just give us a call!