Can I Help My 4 Dogs With Heartworm Disease in Peru?

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  • #3354

    Dear Dr. Jeff:

    I found out yesterday that 4 of my dogs are infected with Dirofilaria Immitis. I’m waiting for the blood test of another 2 that I hope are not infected.

    I live in Lima, PERU, a country where this desease is not common (almost unknown); my dogs live in my country house, 138 Km south of Lima, by the sea. I’m serching for any helpful information in the Internet because I don’t know where else to turn.

    I would like you to tell me if there is any way of treating my dogs. Unfortunately, I don’t know how far has the desease affected each of my dogs, but I’m pretty sure some of them are really ill. I hope I can safe at least some of them. I have sent a blood example of four of them (which not yet present symptoms. 3 male Great Danes between 2 and 3 years old and a Golden Retreiver puppy – male, around 4 – 6 months. The puppy lives in Lima , but he has gone to CaÒete a few times. 2 of these Graet Danes are already infected, but the third one and the puppy are apparently healthy.) to a Laboratory Specialized in Tropical Infections for a complete exam this morning, but I don’t have the results yet. The other 2 dogs, the ones that already have symptoms, I think that they are very ill. One of them is a Great Dane (3 years old – female). She’s having heart problems since december 28 1996, so I think she’s really ill. The other one is a Dalmatian (2 1/2 years – male). The vet took an e! xample of his blood, he mixed it with formol and one could easily saw all the blood moving around under the microscope. He told me that that was serius. Do you think there is still hope for any of them? Please answer me as soon as possble, I wood really appreciate it.

    Sex: Male

    username: [email protected]

    Pet: Canine

    Breed: 6 dogs

    Age: 2

    Dr. Jeff Feinman

    I am sorry for the problems you are currently having. How was the diagnosis of heartworm confirmed? When the disease is diagnosed in an uncommon area such as yours it is critical to have the microfilaria confirmed as Dirofilaria, not Dipetalonema (a common error). Dipetalonema is not pathogenic, but can be easily mistaken for Dirofilaria (under the microscope Dirofilaria larvae move and appear differently than Dipetalonema). If Dirofilariasis is confirmed then Rhone Merieux makes a product called Immiticide which is very safe and effective in killing adult heartworms. Unfortunately, if there has been extensive damage from the worms in the heart and pulmonary arteries then the dog can be in for a long haul, even once the adult heartworms have been killed. In this (and especially early disease), homeopathy can help stimulate healing.

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