Carroll County Animal Hospital

Fudge's hacking Cough!

HISTORY:
Fudge is a 5 year old intact male labrador retriever that presented to Carroll County Animal Hospital for several months of coughing. Fudge is an outdoor dog and has lots of room to run and play with his brothers and sisters. Fudge is an avid swimmer in the nearby lake. No change in appetite have been noted by his parents. He is not on any heartworm or flea prevention currently. He is up to date on yearly vaccinations.

EXAMINATION:
Fudge was found to be bright, alert, and responsive on examination. His body condition score is 7/9 which is mildly overweight. He has a grade 1 out of 4 dental disease (mild plaque buildup). During his examination a dry cough was noted. The cough is nonproductive (no discharge is noted from his eyes or nose during the coughing episodes). His pulses are normal and his lymph nodes are all of normal size. No abnormal lung changes were heard in his chest.

DIAGNOSTICS:
An in house antigen Heartworm test was performed. The test showed that Fudge is POSITIVE for heartworms.


ASSESSMENT:
Heartworm disease is caused by infestation with Dirofilaria immitis. When a mosquito carrying infective heartworm larvae bites a dog and transmits infection, the larvae grow and migrate in the body over a period of months. These worms actually reside in the heart, lungs, and associated blood vessels. This can lead to lethargy, coughing, pale gums, weak pulses, and fluid build up in the abdomen.


TREATMENT FOR FUDGE:
Since Fudge is a class 1 heartworm disease patient, meaning his clinical signs are not severe and he is only exhibiting coughing, heartworm treatment was begun. The treatment used for him was an organic arsenical compound, melarsomine dihydrochloride.

Fudge was hospitalized for his heartworm treatment. He was given injections of melarsomine dihydrochloride in the musculature of his back. Please see the diagram below.


AT HOME CARE:
Fudge was discharged after 48 hours of hospitalization and monitoring. For the next 30 days, Fudge was on a strict exercise RESTRICTION. No running, jumping, or playing to avoid complications with his heartworm treatment.

FUDGE, returned in 30 days and his cough has resolved! He is much more energetic than ever! His mom and dad have begun heartworm prevention once a month.

Be sure to keep your beloved dog on heartworm prevention year round!! There are several options to keep your sweet boy or girl safe, just give us a call.
770- 832- 2475