By Kasey Perritt
Pippa came to live with us as a foster 4 days before Christmas. She was only a foster until around New Years because we knew she was supposed to be ours. She had been with mama Donna since August, battling one of the worst cases of heartworms the rescue had ever seen. When we took her, it was with the knowledge that she would need long-term care as she was lucky to even have made it through treatment.
As soon as we could, we took her for a follow up with our vet. They, of course, thought she was precious, but were concerned with her long-term prognosis. She huffs and puffs and wheezes, even while just sitting, like a person having an asthma attack and, at times, turned bluish grey. They ordered X-rays, bloodwork, and an EKG to better medicate her for the best possible outcome. Her EKG showed 6 large dead worms still in her heart … and that broke our heart. Her body had, had 4 months and was still struggling to break down the worms, let alone get oxygen through her body properly. She was on more medications with so many different doses, that we had to create a chart.
With time, she got more energy, barked more often (yeah, I know), and was bright pink most of the time. She huffs and puffs quite a bit still as her heart is continually working on healing and keeping her alive at the same time. She was put on high quality food and eventually had some inhalers added to her medication regimen that had made her become the best that her little self could ever be. She had a follow up EKG 6 months after the first one and only showed 1 worm left, so her body and the medications are doing what they should be doing.
She’s the happiest, scrappiest, little 13-lb. JRT and I’m so happy to have been able to give her a chance in life, even though she will have forever struggles. The vet says she lives on borrowed time, but we try not to think about that and instead be happy to just have her around. I can only imagine what she would be like had none of this happened to her, but others can do something so they don’t just have to imagine. It’s an inexpensive way to keep your dogs from experiencing all that has Pippa has been through. Give your dogs heartworm prevention, it’s only once a month but will help them have many happy healthy more months.
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