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Dr Linda
Dr Linda, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1150
Experience:  I am a practicing veterinarian with over 20 years experience in a mixed animal practice.
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I adopted a Pyr mix 1 week ago. He is thought to be about

Customer Question

I adopted a Pyr mix 1 week ago. He is thought to be about 1-1/2 yrs old and he is heart worm positive and being treated with doxy/ivermectin(slow kill). He is under weight about 50 lbs but eating great and adjusting really well. I have noticed that he tends to breath very shallow and rapid when he is resting. No over exertion/heat at play when this is observed. I counted his breaths per min three different times last night and it was between 90 and 107 breaths per minute, mouth closed and peacefully sleeping.. And then at other times I am able to observe him breathing normally. he had a full blood work up and exam last week and other than finding he has giardia everything checked out good.(liver, kidney good) it has been suggested I seek out a cardiologist for Echo and radiograph of chest to determine if he has heart or lung issue. Is this something you have seen and can it just be the way he breathes? His gums are always pink and energy level and appetite good.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr Linda replied 1 year ago.

Hello, this is Dr. Linda. I hope I can help with your question today.

First, thank you for adopting Little Bear. There are so many unwanted & wonderful pets just waiting for caring people like you to give them their forever homes.

Second, I would be concerned about his breathing, especially since he is heartworm positive & he is being treated with the slow kill method. There are risks & responsibilities associated with not following the American Heartworm Society recommended protocol for treatment. "Slow kill" treatment is less effective than the adulticide treatment recommended by the AHS & may not eliminate all the worms - even after 18 months or more of treatment. During the lengthy waiting period, the worms in Little Bear's body will continue to damage the heart, lungs, & pulmonary vasculature. Strict exercise restriction is needed the entire time that he is harboring the worms. And finally, the risk of selection of ivermectin resistant heartworm populations is increased & of great concern to all veterinarians.

It is very good that Little Bear's blood work showed no apparent abnormalities. The next step is to definitely consider chest radiographs &/or cardiac echo, & to consider following the AHS protocol for eliminating Little Bear's heartworm infection.

I hope this makes sense & has addressed your question. Please let me know if you have any further questions or concerns about Little Bear.

Thank you.

Expert:  Dr Linda replied 1 year ago.
I see you have viewed my reply. Do you have any further questions?
Thank you.