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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct. 29, 2003
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    Central Arkansas
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    176

    Default Stray Dog Heartworm positive-tell me about the "slow kill" method

    so yes, someone decided my farm needed yet another dog, she is a young, lab mix , very sweet. Had her spayed, vaccinated and tested for heartworm, she is a mild positive. I have been researching on line and came across the "slow kill" method which seems to not be as harsh a treatment on the dog, yet effective. Please provide any feedback, thanks!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec. 12, 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts
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    Default

    I've always been lucky to end up with heartworm negative strays (it's not very prevalent in my area) but lemme just start the round of applause for taking such good care of the little girl! She's lucky to have wandered by the right farm.



  3. #3
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    Oct. 25, 2005
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    Smile Doing the same thing right now

    The vet gave him a "stronger" dose in the office with steroids and observed him over night and now I give him one dose just like my other dogs each month. In theory the new baby worms are killed by the first dose and then each month that dose keeps the baby worms gone..... then the adults die off with their normal lifespan and are not replaced as the babies are not there to grow up. It seemed pretty safe and quite effective per my vets. Good luck with her.



  4. #4
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    Jan. 12, 2008
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    PA
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    Default

    Vet student here (read: NOT A VET)...the "slow kill" method is coming under a lot of fire right now as resistance to heartworm medications is developing; the theory right now is that the exposure of these adult worms and their babies to HW prevention is the cause. This, of course, is happening at a population level.
    If it were my dog, I would choose the Immiticide (melarsomine; the arsenical shots that kill the adults). While the HWs will eventually die with the slow kill method, they can still grow and cause damage during those years, and I don't want these nasty worms becoming resistant to the few drugs we have.
    Here's a great website run by veterinarians/veterinary parasitologists: http://www.heartwormsociety.org/vete...uidelines.html
    Another good one is the Companion Animal Parasite Council: http://www.capcvet.org/recommendatio...rtwormdog.html

    I am on board with GoForAGallop; that is one lucky little lab!
    Proud member of the "I'm In My 20's and Hope to Be a Good Rider Someday" clique

    Former owner of the best Amish-carthorse-turned-eventer ever



  5. #5
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    Oct. 25, 2005
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    Default The reason we chose the "slow" way

    We had another stray that needed the heartworm treatment and we chose to do the regular treatment. She was SUPER sick and we had to keep tabs on her at all times because the vets said not to let her run or get excited or play. At first it was not an issue....she was too sick to move much.
    This new guy is big and on the move ALL the time.....the vets suggested the slow treatment.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct. 29, 2003
    Location
    Central Arkansas
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    Default

    I appreciate your responses very much, yes, this girl too is very active, and I can't imagine trying to keep her super quiet for the length of time the fast kill method requires, plus they say the shots with that method are extremely painful. So I believe I will do the slow kill, at least with this one


    help me understand why giving her the monthly preventative as a slow cure will create a resistance? if she were heartworm negative she would still be getting the monthly preventative which kills off the microflorae each month, correct? or am i misunderstanding? ...very possible



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct. 21, 2008
    Location
    West Palm Beach, FL
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    Default

    Cleozowner is right (and also in saying your girl is very lucky to have found you!)

    The slow-kill method is now viewed as not as safe or effective as the immiticide treatment. The American Heartworm Society website is very, very good in explaining the difference between the two methods.

    The resistance is created when you expose LIVE adult worms and microfilariae circulating to a dewormer consistently. Yes, some will die, but you have the potential then for the remaining live ones to mutate and develop resistance to the dewormer to which they are exposed. This selects for resistant strains.

    "So, the adulticidal effect of macrocyclic lactones generally requires more than a year of continuous monthly administrations and may take more than two years before adult heartworms are eliminated completely. In the meantime, the infection persists and continues to cause disease."

    This statement, to me, is also the crux of the matter; your dog is still affected for over one year and can still suffer the same effects on the heart and lungs for that time!

    I'd go for the immiticide treatment, especially if you're dealing with a potentially active dog.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb. 18, 2005
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    975

    Default

    This is a pretty hot topic - I think you'll find support at both ends of the spectrum.

    The slow kill treatment, if advised, is normally used on mild cases. It can take up to two years to work fully.

    The 'fast kill' method is effective - but *not* pretty. Not that should be reason enough to avoid it - but get educated if you decide to go that route so you know what to expect. It is also very expensive.

    Talk to multiple vets, research thoroughly, and know that HW treatment is not the death sentence that the reputation implies.



  9. #9
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    Aug. 14, 2000
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    Clarksdale, MS--the golden buckle on the cotton belt
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    Default

    I've had many dogs treated the standard way over a fifty year period and never lost a one of them. None were even particularly sick.

    There is a relatively new heartworm protocol which seems to involve putting them on regular monthly treatment for four months, giving them antibiotics to kill off something that heartworms have and building the dog up with a daily multi-vitamin for a month before the treatment. By the time the dog actually receives the Immiticide, the worms are weakened and the dog is strengthened.
    "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
    Thread killer Extraordinaire



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov. 28, 2003
    Location
    MO
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    Default

    The slow kill method is no longer reccomend by the American Heartworm Society, nor CAPC. The longer the worms are in the heart, the more damage they are causing. The current reccomended treatment is to place the dog on preventive for 2-3 months, then give a single dose of Immiticide, followed later by the typcial two dose protocol of Immiticide. You can also use doxycycline during treatment, which kills Wolbachia sp. (a bacteria that are associated with SOME heartworms) which does seem to help weaken/kill off some worms before the Immiticide. We, sadly, treat several dogs at our clinic every year and have never had a dog have a serious reaction to this treatment. For ANY heartworm treatment it is critical that the dog be kept quiet for the duration of the treatment (cage rest is reccomended).
    Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm."
    --Winston Churchill
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hills...h/112931293227
    www.HillsideHRanch.com



  11. #11
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    Jan. 17, 2008
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    Default

    I received a dog from rescue shortly after he underwent his injections for Adult Heartworms.....For the next two months, he was absolutely miserable. He was kept on cage rest with limited walks for elimination only. He was in total agony. While he is fine now, I will never put another dog through injectable treatment again.

    I recently acquired another dog from animal control that was HW positive as well. Decided not to go through standard treatment with her. Vet recommended a treatment regime with a wormer used for sheep I believe...can't remember the name right now for the life of me....Vet said very good results with very few side effects. Of course, my dog had reaction to worm die off or medication itself. Don't know which. Nearly lost her.

    With my personal experience, I will opt for the slow kill, aka No kill method. It isn't worth it to me.

    Now with a much younger dog, I would consider it, but I don't know even then. I certainly hope that the rest of my acquisitions will either be healthy puppies or adults on preventative....I just won't go this route again!
    Life is too short to argue with a mare! Just don't engage! It is much easier that way!

    Have fun, be safe, and let the mare think it is her idea!



  12. #12
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    Aug. 11, 2003
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    Default

    We had a border collie treated for heartworm. It was very expensive and really nasty. Another vet, that we use for the horses, who also does dogs, said that personally he wouldn't treat any dog for heartworm. He said that as long as the dog is on a monthly heartworm wormer that no new heartworms will grow and eventually the others will die. I have no idea what the validity of this is, but he felt it was more effective, easier on the dog and way cheaper just to put them onto a regular heartworm medicine.

    Thoughts?



  13. #13
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    May. 4, 2006
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    Default

    I lost my beautiful, sweet and kind cocker Hector to the painful after effects of Immiticide. He was nine years old at the time and not in the best of health. I wish I had received Viney's protocol. He was treated with Doxy for a month, and was given a one month dose of HW preventative. In my view his overall health was not taken into account by either of the two treating veterinarians. He was in intractable pain and after three sleepless nights I opted to put him down.

    This just happened in 2009, I am still heartbroken. If I knew what I know now, even about the resistance question, I would still have opted for slow kill for him. I have successfully treated other dogs that were older than Hector, but he had had health issues all of his life as he was hydrocephalic when he was born and was not expected to live beyond five months. This was the reason he was not on a once a month dewormer. I just did not think he could tolerate it since he was always a bit delicate. I know your torment, I pray that a cure for this disease is found that is not so harsh, maybe someday we will see the advent of electromagnetc radio frequency devices which can kill the worms and not the dog. Until then, it is always a torturous decision.
    "When written in Chinese, the word "crisis" is composed of two characters, one represents danger, the other represents opportunity."

    John F Kennedy



  14. #14
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    Nov. 13, 2007
    Location
    NW Louisiana
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    Default

    I am currently using the slow kill on family member's dog. This dog is a 10-yo pitt tht's had HWs for a long time. He's strted the coughing thing aalredy, and looked like rescue cse when I first met him. He obviously also had some kind of intestinal worms. Of course, owner didn't bother to actully USE the vet, nd of course would rather spend money on drugs thn treating his precious dog.

    So given that the other option is no tretment, owner, vet-tech friend, and I decided to try the slow kill. He's a larger dog, so I've been using the wormer for horses, sicne the dose isn't so very tiny. We hit him with wormer bout every other week. It's only been 2 or 3 months.

    I honestly don't think the dog is going to mke it through the tretment, but I lso don't think it's mking him WORSE. He ws bd off to begin with, and t lest after being wormed he's picked up some weight. Poor thing. I really wish I could kick some people. This dog has only had one owner, so it's not like they recently got him in bad condition.

    But if it were my dog, I would opt for the correct tretment rther thna let the dult worms continue to do dmage to the hert nd lungs of the poor dog. This guy looks like hell. It's very very sad.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan. 20, 2008
    Posts
    647

    Default

    I treated one of my dogs for HW with the slow kill method. Honestly, unless there was evident damage to the heart I am not sure I would ever do the shots for any of my dogs.

    I decided on the slow kill because this dog would not be happy to be on limited activity. I felt it would have been unfair and way too difficult on him. I also did not like the risk involved in the other method.

    Today he is HW free with no signs of heart damage.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct. 29, 2003
    Location
    Central Arkansas
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    176

    Default

    thank you all so much for your responses, am trying to do right by this dog whose start in life was rough and make her recovery as painless as possible , still undecided as to which method I will end up using, but for right now she is on the monthly preventative and a daily multi vitamin to at least get started.



  17. #17
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    Jul. 20, 2010
    Location
    Texarkana, AR
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    Default

    I have a "found by the side of the road" heeler that I've been using the slow kill method for the past 3 years. Chica is doing fine. My vet doesn't recommend the faster method any more. It's hard on the dog and is very expensive.



  18. #18
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    Jul. 21, 2006
    Location
    South Carolina
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    5,129

    Default Another immiticide horror story here

    Never again. Nearly killed my border collie/LGD cross, who came into rescue HW+.

    Idiot vet didn't pre-treat with doxy, so dog was incredibly sick during the immiticide phase. Then he instructed me to use moxidectin to kill the microfilariae instead of ivermectin. Which put Scot into anaphylactic shock.

    Luckily, idiot [former] vet was away that weekend and his smarter former partner was able to save the dog. While I was waiting around to see if my dog would survive, smarter former partner explained why he no longer treated with immiticide, and never with moxidectin.

    Smarter former partner also recommends the slow-kill method.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    May. 4, 2006
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    Seabeck - the soggy peninsula
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    4,224

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Hampton Bay View Post
    I am currently using the slow kill on family member's dog. This dog is a 10-yo pitt tht's had HWs for a long time. He's strted the coughing thing aalredy, and looked like rescue cse when I first met him. He obviously also had some kind of intestinal worms. Of course, owner didn't bother to actully USE the vet, nd of course would rather spend money on drugs thn treating his precious dog.

    So given that the other option is no tretment, owner, vet-tech friend, and I decided to try the slow kill. He's a larger dog, so I've been using the wormer for horses, sicne the dose isn't so very tiny. We hit him with wormer bout every other week. It's only been 2 or 3 months.

    I honestly don't think the dog is going to mke it through the tretment, but I lso don't think it's mking him WORSE. He ws bd off to begin with, and t lest after being wormed he's picked up some weight. Poor thing. I really wish I could kick some people. This dog has only had one owner, so it's not like they recently got him in bad condition.

    But if it were my dog, I would opt for the correct tretment rther thna let the dult worms continue to do dmage to the hert nd lungs of the poor dog. This guy looks like hell. It's very very sad.
    Perhaps you can stop this treatment now and treat the dog with doxy for a month. Boost with vitamins and whatever good food this dog will eat. After a month or so, you can reassess and start the treatment again. As long as you keep the dog out of the out of doors and potential infection from mosquitoes, you will not be adding any additional microfilaria. The adult worms live only 2 years and as they die, the opportunistic parasite on the worms is what makes the dogs so sick, so the prevailing research shows.
    "When written in Chinese, the word "crisis" is composed of two characters, one represents danger, the other represents opportunity."

    John F Kennedy



  20. #20
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    May. 4, 2006
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mustangtrailrider View Post
    I received a dog from rescue shortly after he underwent his injections for Adult Heartworms.....For the next two months, he was absolutely miserable. He was kept on cage rest with limited walks for elimination only. He was in total agony. While he is fine now, I will never put another dog through injectable treatment again.

    I recently acquired another dog from animal control that was HW positive as well. Decided not to go through standard treatment with her. Vet recommended a treatment regime with a wormer used for sheep I believe...can't remember the name right now for the life of me....Vet said very good results with very few side effects. Of course, my dog had reaction to worm die off or medication itself. Don't know which. Nearly lost her.

    With my personal experience, I will opt for the slow kill, aka No kill method. It isn't worth it to me.

    Now with a much younger dog, I would consider it, but I don't know even then. I certainly hope that the rest of my acquisitions will either be healthy puppies or adults on preventative....I just won't go this route again!
    Can you please find out from the vet what dewormer he/she recommended? It is always useful since I am still involved in counseling some people with rescues to know any and all new useful information.
    "When written in Chinese, the word "crisis" is composed of two characters, one represents danger, the other represents opportunity."

    John F Kennedy



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