Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Treatment #2 for Kirby, Test for Baxter

We took Kirby in this morning for the second of his three-shot heartworm treatment. The vet also wanted to retest Baxter for heartworm -- he tested negative in December, but sometimes it takes longer for dogs to test positive and if, per chance, he was exposed last summer, it should be showing up by now. Our fingers are crossed that Baxter will still be negative.

Kirby is a bit lethargic, as he was after his first shot. They give the shot in the deep muscle of the lower back/hip area. Occasionally Kirby will curl around to bite at it, but for the most part he just seems tired. He also has his "panic smell." Kirby had this weird smell when we first got him as a puppy -- some of it is coming from his breath, but some of it just seems to come out of his whole body like a little cloud of stink. Now he gets that smell whenever he's frightened or really stressed. These trips to the vet really bring it on. It usually wears off in a couple of hours...hope so, because he's sleeping beside my desk...

The vet said the first of the three shots is the worst in terms of danger to the dog -- you don't know how they'll react, that's when the majority of the worms die, etc. Because Kirby did so well the first time, he's less worried this time -- but it's not over until it's over and we still need to watch him closely for a while. Restricted exercise continues for a few more months as well...

The vet said it's possible all the worms died after the first shot, but they can't get an accurate test for six months and the protocol says to treat all dogs as if they had a heavy worm load. So it's three shots no matter what. Kirby gets the third shot tomorrow morning. Poor guy, he still has a lump on his hip from the first shot last month, he got the other hip this morning. Not sure where tomorrow's will go...he's out of fresh hips to get shots in.

Thanks to all of you who are following Kirby's progress and who have sent your good wishes. They are most appreciated by all of us!

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