2013 was tough at our home which we've dubbed "BassettCrest". We said goodbye to 2 of our 5 beloved basset hounds -- Chloe (aged 17y) and Leah (aged 15y) as well as our 'little buddy' Simba, the Abyssinian cat. All had different medical conditions that finally took their toll. Our basset gang was reshuffled with Ella and Duke (bonded pair) sliding into older middle-aged; Herman our 4 year old, very energetic basset looking to play (lots), and ourselves feeling the household a little bit empty at 3 bassets.
We contacted Guardian Angels Basset Rescue, a non-profit based in northern Illinois that does a wonderful job rescuing unwanted bassets in the northern Illinois/Indiana area. They had matched us up with our Herman over a year earlier. We applied to adopt another basset. It took a couple months. GABR was methodical in finding the "right match" to our circumstance. A foster family contacted us about Abby, a 5 year old female basset, with a great temperament, likes playing. She sounded perfect. There was one "issue". Abby had tested positive for heartworm. She just finished treatment and could be adopted-- but there was a risk, albeit slight, she could test positive still. It was "too early to tell."
From the history that could be pulled together, it was clear that Abby had a tough 2013 too. GABR found her in a shelter in Indiana. At the time, she was malnourished, positive for various worms, including heartworm...and very stressed out as suggested by loss of hair and weight issues. While in shelter, she had a litter. Once her pups were weaned, GABR assumed responsibility for Abby's ongoing medical care. She had been treated for worms, updated on all shots, and spayed. She was also treated for heartworm disease- receiving two injections over a period time. Per treatment protocol, Abby's had to remain quiet, her activities strictly limited to only going outside to "potty" --while on a leash. She spent many days quietly in a "safe crate" or limited to a couch at her foster family home. (She still has an affinity to hopping up on the couch--even when not allowed!)
We researched heartworm disease and consulted with staff at My Vet Animal Clinic. We discussed options with GABR and agreed that if Abby still tested positive, we would have her treated again. GABR's would cover the cost, however we would have to stick to the strict treatment regimen, which would not be an easy thing, for Abby or us.
We decided to adopt Abby anyhow. Abby came to our home the day after Thanksgiving. She quickly fit in with the gang-- playing chase me and tug-o-war with her new brother Herman (only one lamp pulled off the table!) while negotiating with "the elders" --Duke and Ella. (Our cat Sky, we suspect, just rolled her eyes!)
Abby was due for the follow-up heartworm test in January. We took her to My Vet. The result of the test--"positive". We were dismayed. Would she have to go through the intensive treatment, yet again? Dr. Griese reviewed her record thoroughly and consulted with the previous treating veterinarian at the shelter. It was possible this was a "false-positive" --that the heartworms were still clearing from Abby's system. Recommendation: re-test in another month.
The weeks ticked by. Abby fell into rhythm of the rest of the basset pack and our household. Her weight increased to a normal level and she continued fine tuning her tug-o-war techniques with Herman. A happy girl all around.
The day of truth arrived. Re-test. We took Abby to My Vet. Deep breath. The result.... negative! Hooray! Now our goal is to keep her that way.
Heartworm disease is serious. Luckily there is treatment and it worked for Abby. She's now joined the rest of our BassettCrest gang on once-a-month Heartgard as well as Frontline in the flea/tick season.
Thanks much to Dr. Griese and the staff at MyVet-- for the great care for Abby and the rest of the gang over the years.
The BassettCrest Dwellers... David & Rich