My question concerns the use of heartworm preventative in dogs with advanced kidney failure.
My 17 year-old westie mix (female, 10 pounds) was diagnosed with kidney failure two years ago. We have done the sub-Q fluid treatment for some time (lactated ringers solution) and have increased to daily fluids as her last creatinine was 4.8. At the time of that test, she was being treated for a bladder infection (bacterial) and was only half way through the Cephalexin treatment. She has rebounded in activity and appetite since then. (Although, I supplement her home cooked diet now with Nutri-Cal and AD by hand when she won’t eat enough.) She is on Vetmedin and Furosemide for a heart condition, Carafate and Pepcid, and Epakitin (phosphate binder). I give Omega 3 Fish Oil and Vitamin E.
With this routine, she has had a pretty good quality of life for her condition. I honestly did not expect her to rebound to the point of wanting to run around in the backyard, but luckily that is what happened! (I had begun the fish oil and vitamin E)
When I expected that she would survive only a few weeks, I decided to forego the heartworm preventative. Now that she is more active and a little healthier, do I dare give her the heartworm preventative? (Interceptor)….Or do I risk losing her to heartworms instead?! Please help! I am sure that there are others making this agonizing decision and your input would be most appreciated! (One vet at our vet clinic said “yes, give it”, another said “no.”)
Thank you for your inquiry to Holistic Pet Info. With the multiple issues your Westie has I would discontinue the heartworm preventative. Hopefully your area/community has a low rate of heartworm cases. In areas where the majority of dogs are protected by heartworm preventatives the few that aren’t taking preventative should be less likely to contract heartworm disease. You are on the right tract with the supplements and for heart conditions I would also recommend CoQ-10 to enhance oxygenation to the heart. Bio-Cardio by Thorne is an excellent supplement for cardiac health. Best of luck.
Colleen Smith DVM, CVA