When a Positive is a Negative

In the spring of 2014 I started scheduling all the dogs for their annual Heartworm check. I started with Maia.

I went in not expecting too much out of the ordinary.

Blood was drawn for the test and she was a good girl as usual.

Then the out of the ordinary happened…my vet said she was positive! My heart sunk, how could this happen!!

These results were from the new test that was developed that is highly sensitive. So the protocol now was to draw more blood and send it out to the lab to be tested with the old heart worm check test. My vet also did blood work to check for microfilaria (microscopic baby heartworms) in her bloodstream. I had to wait for these results for a few days as it is sent out to a lab. Thankfully both came back negative.

I immediately scheduled the rest of the dogs to get their checks and again my heart sank as the vet told me Cheyenne was positive. I just kept going over and over in my head how, why!?!

So more blood was drawn and sent in for Cheyenne and that came back negative.

All along neither girl presented with any clinical signs of heartworm.

I was instructed to continue with their monthly preventative and every six months I had to take the girls back in for blood work, they would run one on the new test and one on the old. The old always coming back negative and the new always positive. Since it was suspected this was an issue with the test I did not have to pay for any of the repeat testing.

So of course I started doing some research on my own to see if the tests could have a false positive and I found it could; as well as a false negative.

On our last visit this past January my vet informed me that they have now found the triggers that are causing the test to come back positive and know how to remove those so they can get an accurate reading. She believes this was a false positive all along for both dogs. It actually took two weeks to get the results but in fact both girls were negative all along.

So I am glad this is behind us and it turned out to be a false alarm. But honestly I will be very apprehensive from now on when I have to take them in for their annual heartworm checks. I am thankful I have such great vets that really go the extra mile to check things.

It is important to follow your veterinarians advise and do your annual heartworm checks especially if you are in a high incidence area. As you can see from this map there are very few places that have not had a case of heartworm reported which may be due to a lack of veterinary clinics. I am anxious to see what the 2015 map looks like.IncidenceMap2013_Page_1                               Photo from the American Heartworm Society website. 

We are in mid Michigan, as you can see there have been quite a bit of cases reported. As awful as this disease is thank goodness it is not transferred from one animal to another. For more information about heartworm visit the American Heartworm Society.

Another Trip To The Vet

Okay first I would like to thank our friend Jodi for leaving me a message inquiring about me since I haven’t been around for a while; that was so sweet. I am okay I’ve just been very busy with the dogs/puppies, work, dogs/puppies, school, dogs/puppies…do you see a trend hereLaughing out loud

Second, I had to take Maia to the vet today to have her left front leg checked out. It started a couple days ago when I heard her yelp and then she was limping and favoring that leg. I kept an eye on her the next couple days and she seemed fine but then last night as I was getting everyone ready to go down for the night she yelped again and ran from the other dogs and was holding the foot up. I checked her over thoroughly again and couldn’t see anything and after a couple minutes she seemed fine again. Well this continued off and on throughout the rest of the night and this morning; a yelp then a limp and favoring that leg then after a few minutes just fine. So off to the vet we went this morning to get it checked out; Dr Adler checked her over and did some ROM (range of motion) on the left leg and it appears to be in her shoulder. She probably did something to it while rough housing with Titan. She is on crate rest for the next few days with pain medication (Carprofen 75mg) once a day; if it doesn’t improve she will have to go back in for x-rays to see what is going on.    Dr Adler didn’t want to do them now because she wanted to start with a less invasive treatment since in order to get good views she will have to really manipulate the shoulder which is not comfortable for a dog especially a puppy so they have to be sedated.

I’m hoping with the crate rest and pain med she will be much better in the next few days. It is going to be interesting with a puppy on crate rest who would rather be running and romping with her brother. I will keep everyone posted on her progress.

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Waiting to be seen

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Checking things out

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Is it my turn yet mom

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After her exam

Our First Vaccination

At seven weeks old the pups were scheduled to get their first vaccination and a health check. Now I didn’t bring all seven in at once, I did three, then four and my nephew went with me to help carry pups in and out. Ellen, a veterinary assistant, weighed the pups and set us up in the room, she gave me a huge compliment about how organized I am with the pups and how I know who is who. Of course I thanked her and said “well that is so nice of you to say”, she said “you would be surprised how many people come in with litters of puppies and can’t tell who is who and get them mixed up even as they are being vaccinated”. I of course had that fear even though I know each pup that when I put their individual collars on I also went t back and numbered each collar just to be sure Winking smile I love talking with Ellen and I found out she is a wonderful artist too, see the background in the pictures, well she did that. The whole office is done with beautiful artwork on the walls.

Dog faceDr. AdlerCat face saw us and she is so wonderful, she took her time with each one and gave them a thorough going over. She said they all looked great. I took my camera along in hopes to get pictures and although she said she is not very photogenic (which she is) if I had my heart set on it she would let me take a picture of her with each pup.

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Our First Vet Visit

I just love, love, love these babies!

They went for their first outing yesterday…to the vet clinic so they could have their dew claws removed and a check up. The staff just kept oooing and awing over them (I find myself doing that too) and Corie, the vet tech, just kept snuggling them to her neck and loving on them. Riva also had a physical exam just to make sure everything is the way it should be. Everyone passed inspection and Dr. Adler said they are very healthy fat babies and Riva looks good.

Today I clipped everyone’s little needle nails; poor
Riva they were digging into her but she never moved or flinched she just laid there calmly letting them nurse. She is being such a good mama Smile

They are growing so fast, all of them have put on between 1/4 and 1/2 pound since Monday and I could swear the deadgrass boys are almost double in size Winking smile

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A little help please

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Four little piggy’s all in a row

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I love you mama!

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FEEDING FRENZY!!

Day 40

Well it is now day 40 and I do believe she is pregnant. Things are starting to change with her body that are good indications of pregnancy. I called and scheduled her x-ray with a reproduction specialist, Dr. Schultz, for September 12, at 1:30pm; that will be day 54. Hoping he sees some babies in there!

Now a little tattle on Riva, yesterday we had a fair well dinner at church for one of the families that is moving away; when we do this everyone brings a dish to pass so I brought my Sloppy Joes and Oatmeal Butterscotch Bar Cookies. There were probably about a half batch of the cookies left that I brought back home, which equates to about 2 dozen give or take, well my little counter surfer decided she needed some cookies and tore through the saran wrap and ate not one or two but the entire thing! Needless to say she wasn’t hungry for dinner and thankfully it did not make her sick. I hope she doesn’t pass her counter surfing gene on to her offspring 😉