Barney – Adopted and returned to rescue 6 years later, heartworm positive.

Barney first came to rescue as a bright, active 4 year old pug. He was adopted into a home that promised to love him forever and care for him according to the adoption contract, which included keeping him on a monthly heartworm preventative. APARN heartworm tests every pug that comes into rescue, and starts them all on preventative, as we are very aware that Heartworm disease IS in Arizona, and is much easier to prevent than to treat. APARN received the call that Barney was coming back to rescue due to divorce, and upon his intake exam, he tested positive for heartworm disease. We reached out to his previous adopter, and confirmed that he had missed his last “two or three months” of heartworm preventative. Barney was started on treatment – four months of heartworm preventative to kill the baby heartworms. The doctor also wanted him to gain a couple pounds as he was far too thin. At the four month mark, Barney was ready to begin the imiticide injections to kill the adult heartworms. At this point, he would need to remain crated and for eight weeks, while the worms died off, to prevent a piece of worm from breaking off as it circulated, getting stuck somewhere and causing a blood clot, as this could be life threatening. Barney’s foster home had been initially selected as one that was committed to keeping him quiet throughout his treatment period. Barney made it through his imiticide injections and the two months crate rest. On recheck, he tested heartworm positive again, meaning that two of the adult worms had laid eggs. So he was put back on crate rest for another eight weeks while the baby worms died off.

Barney has one more heartworm re-test coming up in October. If he tests negative, he will be cleared to go back onto his normal monthly preventative schedule. In the meantime, he has developed a slight issue with his kidneys, and has been put on prescription food to help. This could be a result of damage done by the heartworms, or it could be transitory. He will get his blood work redone at the same time he gets his heartworm re-test in October. In the meantime, Barney acts like nothing is wrong, plays with his toys, and is still waiting for the right forever home to come along.

Ways you can help rescue pugs like Barney.

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To leave no pug behind we need your help. Please consider fostering a pug or two. It can be quite a rewarding experience. Even if you just help one pug and decide fostering isn’t for you, you’d still be making a difference! Apply to foster today.