Monday, September 12, 2011

Aftermath of Mila's Second Treatment

---> Immiticide Unavailability <---

Mila flew through the first injection and first part of her treatment, earning her the name "The Mila Monster" from some of her friends on a web forum, because it was hard to control her. Mila is a spirited girl, lively, with great interest in every thing that is going on. She's the kind of dog who would sit on the front porch and gossip about the neighbors with you. She's a regular Gladys Kravitz, for those who remember the old Bewitched series.

Mila had her two injection treatment, as you saw from the photos in a previous post. One injection on a Monday, then home, and back to the vet Tuesday for her second injection.

Monday night, Mila was acting like not much had happened. Tuesday night she was pretty steady and we thought, wow, she is just sailing through this. Then on Wednesday, it hit. The pain and soreness from her injections.
Oh ow, & I look like an unfinished Halloween pumpkin
Sweet Mila is almost 9.5 now and does have some minor ortho issues to begin with. Plus she has had a "Summer of George" here in terms of inactivity, losing some muscle tone. So she was understandably uncomfortable and was given some help with her pain medication.

After a few days, she picked up and started to feel better, upswinging on the weekend. Then Tuesday night, a week after her last injection, she vomited. Twice. This is unusual for Mila who has a pretty sturdy GI system. We called the emergency number for the vet office. She was still wagging, alert, gums good, drinking water (whoops), and with this, the vet we talked to said to bring her in first thing for blood work to check all her levels, in case the toxins of the treatment were impacting her liver and kidneys. She had a nice, firm bowel movement (in our spare time we talk about dog poop a lot) which was reassuring too, and we went back inside, where she promptly vomited all the water I had let her drink.

Wednesday morning at the vet office, Mila's blood work was stellar. Straight down the middle. She did get some fluids anyway. So did we all, since she didn't feel like holding still! She also got some meds to settle her stomach.
Holding still for a second
These worked on Thursday, but by Friday morning she was refusing food again. Mila's a good eater, so off to the vet again. She saw her regular vet, who felt that it was very possible (probable) that the heartworms dying off in Mila's system were making her ill. Mila started on prednisilone. It certainly makes sense.

We think those shots 2 and 3 got some things going. The worms go through veins that aren't meant to have things that size in them. Theoretically because she has no damage to her organs, no symptoms, and was rested as soon as we found out she was +, she should have a light load which lowers her risk. But we guess any adult worms are a danger. Those dreaded clots we've talked about are for real.

They say that it is inevitable during any heartworm treatment to have some little emboli, you just need to stay away from the biggies. Which we hope the pred and keeping her quiet and cool will do. Knock wood.

More on the prednisilone: Administration of diminishing anti-inflammatory doses of glucocorticosteroids helps control clinical signs of pulmonary thromboembolism.

Prednisilone: Dogs are on prednisone (a steroid) to help reduce inflammation in the lungs and vessels caused by the worms before and after they die. Prednisone also helps reduce the risk of the dog having an acute pulmonary embolism (clot) that can cause sudden death.

Friday and Saturday, there was some improvement. By Sunday evening however, she was lethargic and not herself again. Monday was Labor Day, but her vet was in for a phone call and he decided to start her on an antibiotic, one that her sister was taking for a UTI. By Tuesday, there was improvement again, and improvement after that too. This upswing seemed steady. Knock wood.

Next time: Specific treatment cost, then waiting for the Mila Monster with Dr. Bruno


  1. Poor Mila. I hope she feels her old self soon. Please give her a hug from me.

  2. Hug has been delivered. Thankfully, she's squirmy again! Thank you so much.