One Step Forward; Two Steps Back

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-01-1999
One Step Forward; Two Steps Back
Tue, 07-16-2013 - 9:17pm

The fifteenth of the month is heartworm preventative pill day in this house.  I always give the pill, wrapped in American cheese, with a meal.  Because Roo Ben is 'way over the weight of most pugs in the rescue, they told me to give him two Iverhart (up to 25 pounds size).  I do what I'm told, for the most part, even if I don't completely agree, so that is what I did. I mean, the medical gatekeeper is either a vet tech or a nurse, and I have no medical training.   (My own dogs are on Trifexis, and their pill dose is for 20-40 pounds.  Anya is 19 pounds and a fraction, so I'm OK with that.)

The dog who eats checkbooks, newspapers, corrugated boxes, toilet paper, and dried poop, vomited three times last evening.  All he had to eat yesterday was his usual kibble and the heartworm meds.  You could just tell he felt very sick, and when he was finally emptied out, he just lay on the floor, trembling.  He was having difficulty getting up and standing up.  I carried him outside to go potty, but it was raining and he was feeling terrible, and he just stood there.  So I carried him to bed, and he flopped down and went to sleep.  I woke about 2:30 AM, turned on the light and put my hand down to pat him and check on him.  He roused and looked into my eyes, and I could see that he was not in any great distress.

I did tell the medical gatekeeper about the problem.  She told me to let her know in the morning how Roo Ben was doing, and that she would send me another brand of heartworm preventative for Roo.

This morning, I boiled him some short-grain rice for breakfast, and he ate it readily and it stayed down.  Tonight, I gave him 2/3 rice and 1/3 his usual kibble.  He was starving, pushed the bowl all around the kitchen, and would probably have tried to eat the bowl if I hadn't picked it up.  He ate at 5:15.  It is now 8:15, and Roo Ben's tummy seems fine.

Problem is -- the progress we have made since the acupuncture seems to have gone away since he got sick.  His gait is unsteady.  He needs help getting down off the patio and back up.  I have to MAKE him go outside.  He has had two accidents in the house.  He did cry for me when he had to poo, but by the time I picked him up to put him out the back door, he could no longer hold it, and he went on the door sill.

Roo gets his prednisolone pills Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, so I'm hoping once he gets his pill tomorrow morning I will see some improvement.


iVillage Member
Registered: 11-04-1999
Wed, 07-17-2013 - 4:03am

Oh Gaye, and sorry,  I hear your frustration as the past 3 months has been 1 thing after another with Rudi.  I have had Rudi on 2 different bland diets:  chicken and rice and boiled beef and elbow macaroni, the second one is what finally stopped her 11 days of diarrhea.   I am so sorry your furchild and you are going through this.  Rudi vomitted once after trifexis but we were in the car and she does not like car rides.  But I can't introduce most new foods into her diet, not even doggy treats so I have like 3 I buy and that is that and when a friend gives her a new treat as a "present" I might give her one and toss the bag after they leave.   My Rudi is 16 to 18#, occ close to 19 and my vet has me give her the up to 20# trifexis so that is what I go with.  She varies in weight but then again every time I take her in she is coming on/off a bland diet or being ill.   Hang in there, and I hope with the next accupuncture that you are back to all the benefits seen after the first one. 

Avatar for terreinarkansas
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-05-2000
Wed, 07-17-2013 - 9:55am

Oh (((Gaye))). I'm sorry to hear this. Hope RooBen continues to feel better. Rice always makes my dogs feel better when they're not feeling well. ;-)

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-27-2000
Wed, 07-17-2013 - 11:20am

Canned pumpkin is also great for calming tummies, and most dogs love it.  I wouldn't worry about the heartworm prevention.  When my dogs reach the age that the bridge is in sight, my vet suggests not doing anything that will upset them, like shots (except for rabies), and that would include heartworm prevention.  The chances of heartworms developing and becoming an issue, even if contracted now, are minimal.  And RooBen probably absorbed enough of the double dose meds to keep him safe.   I have learned the hard way to ask the vet, not the vet tech.  I think they sometimes speak in generalities without knowing all the facts about my animals.  Poor little guy.  He is so lucky to have you!


Oh say, can you see?

Visual Impairments


Community Leader
Registered: 11-21-2001
Wed, 07-17-2013 - 12:55pm annoying!!!  You're right in saying that you are not a vet tech....but sometimes you have to go with your gut.  One reason I changed from the vet I was using in NJ was that he would get "kind of" annoyed if I questioned him.

I know my dogs....and I will definitely question anything that I do not think is right, even when it comes from a vet.

I'm so sorry about Roo....I'm glad that he's feeling better but I'm sorry he has seemed to have lost the progress from the acupuncture.  Apparently because of his age and health issues any little setback causes additional problems.

Hugs to you both....and I hope the next acupuncture treatment gives him ever greater results.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-01-1999
Wed, 07-17-2013 - 9:19pm

Roo Ben had his prednisolone this morning, and he is pretty much back to normal.    Praise be. 

Day four of rain here, though it is only off and on showers today, so the pugs still don't want to go outside to play.  But Roo Ben is waddling around the house, chewing on toys, not whimpering, eating his meals, drinking water, and being the usual Roo Ben.

Roo Ben is nine years old.  He is handicapped, but has not been declared a hospice foster.  Pugs live to be 13, 14 or sometimes older, so I don't think he is approaching the Bridge enough to discontinue heartworm preventative or vaccinations yet.  We have lots of mosquitoes here, and the rules for foster parents state that all foster pugs must be kept on heartworm preventative.  Heartworm is a nasty, nasty disease, and I don't want to risk that.

I make decisions for my own dogs.  I question my vet.  I sometimes disagree with my vet.  But remember, Roo Ben is not mine.  I would have given him only one Iverhart pill and said "close enough."  Who knows; maybe he still would have vomited if I had given him only one.

Avatar for donnaldy59
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-19-2001
Thu, 07-18-2013 - 7:29am
Oh my gosh that is awful! Poor Roo Ben! It definitely sounds like the heartworm meds did a number on him and I'm sorry that it affected his progress from acupuncture! I hope he's doing better now - give him a gentle hug from me!
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-01-1999
Thu, 07-18-2013 - 5:48pm

My foster coordinator from DFW Pug Rescue has ordered a different kind of heartworm pills for dogs 25 pounds and up for Roo Ben.  He is a large-build pug, and even if he loses weight, I don't think he will ever be below 25 pounds.  Hopefully, they won't make him sick.

Roo Ben is FINE today. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2001
Fri, 07-19-2013 - 4:52am

Gaye I'm sorry to hear about those pills knocking Roo Ben for a loop. Is this the first time he had such a reaction after taking the pills? Was he always on this brand? (I'm sorry .... so many questions, but they are our fur kids.)  Is it not possible to give him the 2 pills at different intervals and not both together?  Like give one and then a couple days later give the next one? Perhaps the amount they asked you to give Roo Ben was just too much with all his other conditions.  I'm glad they now changed to another brand and I hope he tolerates it better (for him and for you). 

Glad the acupuncture is helping.

BTW, I ask my vet everything I need to know and question what I don't know so they explain it to me clearly, and question what I don't think is right for Coffee.  We do it for ourselves when we go to the doctor so why not for our furbabes who can't ask the quesiton.  I'm not rude or make them think I don't think they are qualified but
they are not infallible even if they are vets.  The last time I needed worm pills for Coffee, the vet tech suggested I buy 2 of them.  I noticed that the expiration date was for 5 months later , then figured out that the second pill would not be given within the vaild date.  So I questioned it.  hmmmmm,  " I didn't think about that...." said the vet tech.  I just took the one pill and said I'd buy them singularly ..... one has to watch everything.  

Hope Roo Ben is all better now, and continues getting well and more mobile with his accupuncture , Gaye.  (())