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Success Stories

Prince, July, 2001

Prince Prince is an approximately 1 1/2 year old male chocolate Labrador Retriever. He was picked up by Animal Control and taken to the local shelter in Woodstock, Georgia. At the shelter he was diagnosed as heartworm positive. Prince was lucky, his stellar temperament earned him a spot in rescue, where he could be given time to recover from his illness without the pressure of other dogs being turned away.

Once in a foster home, Prince was evaluated by a veterinarian to see if his heartworm burden and his temperament would allow for a new method of heartworm treatment. Dogs with a small amount of worms and a quiet disposition can sometimes be treated slowly with a heartworm prevention medication. The drug sterilizes the worms and causes them to die slowly over a period of time. The drawback to this method of treatment is that as a heartworm dies, it breaks up into pieces which are swept along with the blood and can cause blood clots to form in the lungs and elsewhere. The more active a dog is, or the greater the number of worms in the dog, the more likely this is to happen. These clots can cause illness and even death. PrinceIf the worms die slowly, there is no way of knowing when it might be breaking up, so it is hard to monitor activity during the long treatment. Conventional heartworm treatment causes all the worms to die at once, during a period when the dog can be observed in the hospital and treatment can be quickly administered. Although the conventional form of heartworm treatment is more expensive, it is generally considered less risky than long term treatment, especially in active dogs. Two weeks into Prince's foster home stay it was determined that he would be too active for the new long term treatment option and the conventional option was selected by the rescue.

Prince is a fine example of the dogs LABMED was created to help: he's a dog that with a little medical care can be easily placed in a Forever Home. LABMED and LLL shared the funding of Prince's heartworm treatment.

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