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Dr. John
Dr. John, Texas Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 4997
Experience:  Over 14 years of clinical veterinary experience
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My dog was diagnosed with heartworms and she's been on an

Customer Question

My dog was diagnosed with heartworms and she's been on an antibiotic and prednisone for about three weeks now, I do not find any change in her and tonight we.come home to spots that looked like she had been "foaming" from the mouth and she is hacking and gagging a lot more......what do I do? Is her disease to far gone for us to treat you think I do not want to see her suffer anymore if she's only gunnar get worse.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  William Withers replied 11 months ago.

Hi - I'm Dr. Tim and I'm a licensed veterinarian with over 25 years of experience with dogs and cats. I'd be happy to help you out. It certainly sounds like the signs some dogs get when their heartworm disease progresses. Especially as the worms get larger or start to die off, it can cause damage to the lungs which can then produce coughing, gagging, difficulty breathing.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
But would that cause the foaming at the mouth?
Expert:  William Withers replied 11 months ago.

Yes, if there is enough lung damage to produce fluid in her lungs, it could be coming out through her mouth. Is she coughing?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
almost like she has a hairball stuck. ; ( I had asked the vet was it too far gone should we put her to sleep and she said no she would like to try but it seems like it's getting no better with prednisone and antibiotic.
Expert:  William Withers replied 11 months ago.

That is certainly possible. I would consider asking about changing to a different antibiotics (or adding a second antibiotic) and possibly increasing the dose on the prednisone. Sometimes dogs go through a bad period when one or two of the worms die off and if she can be made comfortable to survive through that, she still has a chance.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
But she will never get better unless we do treatment correct?
Expert:  William Withers replied 11 months ago.

That is really hard for me to tell without seeing her bloodwork and her chest x-rays -- those are the things that are needed to give a prognosis. At least your vet has held out some hope so it is worth asking about what to do to make her feel better in the short term while you are thinking over your options, I would say.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I did that and I still haven't gotten a ture answer :/
Expert:  William Withers replied 11 months ago.

The best I can offer is that some dogs aren't strong enough to survive the treatment and the best we can do is to keep them comfortable as I described above. Ultimately if the antibiotics and prednisone can't keep the signs to a minimum, you might be left making that final decision to put her to sleep, unfortunately.

Expert:  William Withers replied 11 months ago.

I hope this helps and is a satisfactory answer. Please remember to rate my response since that is the only way I am compensated for my answers. Good luck with your little one and please let me know if you have any other questions and I'll do my best for you. Take care.