Monday, March 15, 2010

Skelly is having a reaction to his meds

About 2 hrs after giving him his meds, he started acting very lethargic and his breathing appeared labored. I let him inside and found his leash. I could tell he was excited, but he could barely react. We left the house and I opened the back door to the car. He tried to jump in, but needed help. As soon as I closed the door, he curled up.

When we arrived at the Vet's office I opened the door, but he didn't budge. I had to carry him from the car to the vet. They are working with him now...

Update: they have given him an IV catheter and are administering drugs to combat the reaction...

Update: His blood pressure is very low. Reaction is pretty strong. I think they are about to send me home and keep him here while they work on him...

Update: They took me back to the treatment area. Skelly was on an IV getting some liquids. They gave him 2 injections to combat the reaction. His only movement was breathing. He was looking so pathetic.  As I was speaking to the technician about leaving and checking back in a couple hours, he moved nose to the edge of the cage. I gave him a little bit of one finger affection through the bars. His breathing sped up a bit when I did so.

Hopefully he'll stabilize and be ready to come home soon! We're crossing our fingers. Nobody at the vet's office spoke in definites. They were careful not to use phrases that might give false hope. This is a serious situation. Good luck Skells!!

Update: I called the vet's office to check on his condition. The doc was with another patient at the time. All they could tell me was that he was not interested in food and that he was resting comfortably.

I've done a bit of research. Apparently a reaction this severe is rare.
I found some pretty informative pages on the subject:

Starting heartworm prevention

The first dose of heartworm prevention medicine will kill a large number of microscopic heartworm larvae, which can cause a reaction. We minimize this by pretreatment with a cortisone drug followed by the first heartworm pill about an hour later. This can be done at home.

Do this on a weekday, when our office will be open and you can be with your pet all day. Give the prednisone tablet(s) at 7:00 in the morning and the first heartworm pill an hour later. Give food and water normally. If there is going to be a significant reaction, it will probably happen within two to four hours after giving the heartworm pill. Signs of a significant reaction might be panting, weakness, vomiting, or diarrhea. If your dog does any of these things or acts sick in other ways, please call us. Although extremely rare, severe reactions require IV fluid support and additional treatment with cortisone drugs."

From what I understand, the death of the microfilariae and larvae in his bloodstream is causing an allergic reaction. Causing organ tissue to swell and white blood cells to go nuts performing cleanup. This weakens his entire body leaving him in a shock-like state.

Heartworms are a very strange and deadly parasite. I read that they are currently incurable in cats, but are also rarely transmitted FROM cats. However, cats and dogs are at equal risk of contracting them from mosquitoes.

Did I mention that I hate mosquitoes? Worst haematophagous vectors ever!!!

Update: The vet says he's "doing better." They are going to keep him for observation. Hopefully he'll be much better tomorrow. 


  1. We are sending him lots of purrs and prayers to get better quickly - we hope they are able to get him better very quickly!

  2. Hang in there Skelly, we are rooting for you! Sending purrs and good energy your way.

  3. Oh, no! Lots of healing purrs coming his way from our gang!

  4. We're sending lots of healing purrs and universal Light!!!!!!

  5. We are sending BIG rumbly healing purrs straight away. We so want Skelly to get betterer. Smoochies for him.

  6. We are purring for that sweetie too!

  7. Oh NO ... I'll be Purring for him ^,,^

  8. Keeping our paws crossed for him!

    Pugs & Kisses,

    Yoda & Brutus

  9. Come on, Skell, we're all with you on this. You can do it, we know you can. You've come so far. Woof and kisses to you, big guy!

  10. We are purring very hard for sweet Skelator. We hope he can pull through this and will be healthy very soon!

  11. I just got caught up on Skeletor's story. I am sorry to hear that he had a bad reaction to the meds. Me and my Munchkins will be keeping him in our thought and prayers. The Munchkins are sending woos his way.

  12. Oh God.
    He is going to be fine.
    He is going to be fine.
    He has come so far.
    He has to make it.
    Has to.

  13. Hang in there, Skelly! You're a fighter and you've come so far. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your fostermommy and daddy. Keep fighting, sweet boy.

    Mayzie & her Mom

  14. We sends our purr-airs and purrs for poor Skelly too.
    Hang in their big guy, we knows you has more hart then most, you already conquored so much!

  15. I don't think I'll be able to breathe again until he's home. This is awful :(

  16. Oh, this poor precious baby! My heart just hurts for him! I will keep Skelly in my thoughts all day!

  17. Lots of love to you, sweet boy - feel better fast!!!

  18. He's come so far with everything, he just has to pull through. We're thinking of his safe recovery.

  19. Aww, that poor guy. :(
    Sending love and lots of hope his way...
    Get better soon Skelly <3

  20. Mother$*%@)& mosquitoes.

    Want to hear something wild? Placerville Vet Clinic that you linked to has treated our animals before. We used to live in the Placerville area up in the Sierra Foothills. Rick Parsons is a great vet.

    How weird is that?!

  21. @ All
    Thanks to everybody for the support! I'm still hoping for some good news.

    @ Maureen
    That's a pretty crazy coincidence! He must be a good vet. They certainly have an informative website!

  22. Yeah, Skelly - you go, boy! Better is good, but GREAT is what we're aiming for! Love you, munchkin!

  23. Awwww Skelly!!

    Hang on in there!!!!! Please, please get better!


  24. Come on Skelly we know you can do it! We are glad to see you are doing better - but we know you can be great! Just rest and get your strength back - we are all purring and praying for you!!

    And Wes thanks so much for the updates through the day - I think I spent a good amount of my work day checking back for updates. We are sending you all purrs and prayers too - we know that this has to be hard on all of you right now.

  25. Paws khrossed with LOTS of GoldenSibe Vibes -

    The updates were khwite welkhomed -

    Khyra & Khousin Merdie

  26. Ohhh - come on Skelly!!!!!! You can do it!!!! You have gone through so much already... We are thinking of you all the time and have our fingers and paws crossed!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Lots of slobbers from Down Under,
    Master Teal'c and family

    PS: we hate mosquitos too!!!!!!!!!!

  27. OMG, I haven't been online for most of the day so I just read this!

    Thanks, Wesley, for the updates. Poor Skelly! I just feel so bad for him and wish I could do something to help. Makes me appreciate my little chi's health and not take it for granted.

    I will continue to keep him in my prayers.

  28. Oh, I'm in tears over here! I just can't imagine Skelly not making it through. He's such a fighter, we're sure he'll be okay.

    We're going to keep him in our prayers. Please keep us posted!

    Shannon and the Gang

  29. oh no! my poor darling skelly
    we are lighting a candle for him immediately
    all our paws are crossed
    worry sniffles
    the houston pittie pack

  30. We'll keep purring for you, Skelly. If anybody has the heart, honey, you do! (And purrs for your bean, too. Waiting when you can't actively help is awful.)

  31. Poor Skelly... Sending lots of light, purrs and love from Cali... Hope he feels much better tomorrow!

  32. We are sending lots of extry healing purrs fur your recovery, Skeletor. Hang in der, big handsome woofie fella.. You haz lots of peeples pulling for you.

    Purrlease get better soon!

    Your furriends, Tigger, Munchkin, Jigsaw and Patches.

  33. We're thinking about you and our paws are holding tough, be strong...we all love you and need you!! Purrs and purrs and more purrs...Lautrec and Tiny (Weezdabadcats)

  34. We are purring real hard here in Virginia for Skelly - we just know that he can beat these bad wormies ...

  35. we are thinking of you, skelly! please get better really soon! we hate those evil heart wormies. :(((
    the booker man, asa, and their mama


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