The Story of Chelsea and Her Battle Against Heartworm

We asked our readers to send in their stories about their dogs and heartworm treatment. We are delighted to publish the first of these, about ‘Chelsea’ who belongs to reader, Jenny, from Florida.

Chelsea’s Story
Chelsea is a four-year old Chihuahua. She was found wandering in my apartment complex in Florida. The apartment manager asked me to keep her until she could find her home.

Unfortunately, her home could not be located. Based on information we received from neighbors, we determined she was stolen and was going to be used for breeding.

heartworm treatmentThe perpetrator kept her tied up outside while she was in heat. I went to court to obtain custody of her as the perpetrator could not prove ownership. Nor did he obtain veterinary care for her.

I immediately took her to the veterinarian for examination and shots. She was tested for heartworms and the initial test was negative. However, this colorimetric test only determines if adult heartworms are in the heart. She began preventative heartworm treatment. However, the preventative treatment only kills the larvae. Her veterinarian indicated she would have to undergo another heartworm test in six months. The test does not detect adult heartworms in the blood stream before the worms take up residence in the heart.

Chelsea SleepingSix months later, she made another visit to her veterinarian. She was tested for heartworms again. Sadly, the test was positive. The veterinarian explained the treatment of adult heartworms. My heart sank, because I had rescued another dog that had to undergo this treatment. I knew it was a painful and difficult process. Chelsea would have two injections within 10 to 14 days. The first injection required her to stay overnight in the veterinarian medical kennels. She required direct observation to ensure she did not have a reaction to the injection.

When I brought her home after the first injection, her hindquarters were sensitive. The injection is painful and the injection site remains tender for several days. The medicine made her sick and she did not feel well for several days after the injection. She returned for the second injection 14 days later. Again, she was in pain and did not feel well for about a week.

Chelsea in bedFor the next four weeks, I had to keep her calm. She was not allowed to play or run. Over stimulation could cause her heart to pump to fast causing the dead heartworms to be expelled to quickly.

After six weeks, she was again tested for heartworms. Fortunately, the treatment worked and she tested negative. The cost of the treatment was over $500 and six weeks of pain and discomfort for Chelsea.

Chelsea and friendToday, Chelsea is happy and healthy. I diligently provide her with a heartworm preventative medicine.

I do not want her to go through such a difficult and painful treatment ever again.

I wanted to share Chelsea’s story in hopes it would help dog owners make an informed decision to choose preventative medicine for their beloved dogs.

Thank you Jenny for sharing Chelsea’s story with us. If you have a heartworm treatment story to tell, please get in touch via the contact us page or in the comments below, we will email you with details of where to send your story and send you a thank you gift of $10 when your story is accepted for publication.

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