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NancyH
NancyH, Pet Health Care, Rescue,Train,Breed
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 31958
Experience:  30+yrs pet vet care & nursing, rescue, behavior & training, responsible breeding, small animal care
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Post-heartworm treatment.

Customer Question

How do you know how much activity is too much after heartworm treatment? We are keeping our dog as calm as possible (she is an 8month old Golden retriever female) but if we are home and try to crate her she throws an absolute fit and barks constantly and digs at the crate. We have ended up putting her on a short leash and keeping her next to us all day while we are home. If we are gone or sleeping she is absolute fine in her crate and a doll! WHat I cannot determine is if walking around our house on a leash, chewing a bone and ocassionally jumping up at certain sounds in the house is too much activity or what? There is no consistent information on the internet that we have found about what is too much. I get that long walks, playing in the yard, running, wresting with our other dog etc. is not o.k...but we don't know if we are hurting her by letting her stay with us with the occassional quick movement when getting up or going upstairs etc. She was treated one week ago and has been absolutely fine since...no symptoms.
Advice please!!!!
Submitted: 11 years ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  NancyH replied 11 years ago.
Tethering her to you is an excellent solution to the problem you hit with her objecting to being crated away from you when you are home.
You might find this site informative - it fits what my vet has said to me about care for a dog after treatment
http://oldgoldrescue.net/heartworms.html and its all about golden retreivers getting the treatment.
Call your vet in the morning and ask just to be sure they agree with your choice. I think the tethering is safer for her than her having a tantrum is!
Hope this helps!
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Nancy Holmes's Post: I had seen that website and it is still not very clear on what is meant by reduced activity? I mean, walking around the house is o.k. or not o.k. The occassional jumping up on the couch is o.k. or not o.k.? Sometimes when she is outside for potty, even on her leash she pulls and jumps when the neighboors are outside...is this dangerous...o.k. or not o.k.? See, we have asked our vet and his info is just as vague as everywhere else we have searched..." it is all relative. she is young so the risk is not that high. Just don't let her heartrate increase too much." You know, if she is supposed to just sit still and not move or get excited for 6-8- weeks that is impossible for an 8 month old puppy so to say that as advice is ridiculous. However, we are so terrified that something can happen to her because the information given providing what type of activity is o.k. or not o.k. is so unclear. To be clear, it is not that I do not appreciate your attempt to answer my question, I just feel like it is exactly the same information I have already received. I was hoping to get some peace of mind with all of this and instead I was directed to a website I had already read and advised to call my vet and discuss with him which of course I have already done. i was looking for a second opinion with more detailed info and possibly specific examples of what is acceptable movement during this time.
Thank you for your time.
Expert:  NancyH replied 11 years ago.
I believe the reason they are vague is that there isn't an exact measure. If there were the whole treatment would be a lot easier than it is on everyone.
If you see her jumping outside then stop her and take her in. Remove her from the source of excitement.
Obviously seeing the neighbors gets her excited for example and excitement ups her heart rate. So the best bet is to end her interactions with them by going inside with her.
Minimize walking around the house with her - if you have her tethered and you get up and someone else is still sitting hand the lead to them.
You want to do all you can to reduce her chances of a worm bit causing a blockage with devastating effect.
Your solution to her excitement when you were home and she was crated was an excellent solution to that very issue.
I know 'puppy' and 'calm' are pretty opposite poles of the world but the goal is for you to do all you can to keep her as calm as you can to reduce risk of the dead or dying worms killing or injuring her. The emphasis is on what you 'can' do.
Does anyone expect that you can do this 100% probably not. Could any of the activities you describe possibly cause a problem - yes. It can't be 100% predicted and no one can 100% control a dog.
For keeping her occupied ask her vet if chewing is an acceptable entertainment for her. A stuffed Kong toy, or a giant smoked bone to chew might be a good way to take off some energy without a big heart rate increase. But the vet may know more about that and you of course observing your dog would know more. If she flips out over food or chew items that might not be a great choice.
Both you and the vet can see your dog in person which makes a difference too. Thats why I say check with the vet.
You may find teaching her some commands would be mentally entertaining for her. Down, stay, come to you when called (on leash and in the house etc), shake, choosing one chew toy on command, choosing which hand has the treat and other mental type games etc might help. You want fairly passive commands. Teaching her about a clicker might help with making training easy and not stressful but she could get all excited about training times too.
Maybe you are interested in things like Tellington Touch massage therapy- thats a nice and calm way to interact with your dog - now might be a good time to work on that with her.
The vet said its all relative - and it is. If there were a definitive answer the vet would of course have given it to you. You have to do the best you can with your dog to limit all activities. Its hard and horribly inconvenient for you and your pet but no one expects you to do more than you can.
I wish I could say X,Y or Z are all safe 100% but no one really can. But remember every day safely completed is one more day closer to the day your dog is well again.

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