What rescuing a dog is all about

Daisy Mae came to me via a wonderful support network of volunteers involved with Labrador Retriever Rescue of Florida, District 8. There are a lot of dogs coming out of the Carolinas right now on their way down into Florida and other areas where the last hurricane didn’t flood in order to make room in those local Carolina shelters for the dogs whose humans live there, but who may have gotten separated during the prolonged rain and subsequent flooding. This way, as the humans begin getting their lives back, they can hope that if their pet got loose or lost, someone has found them and turned them in to a shelter nearby where the owners can then reunite with their pets. Folks who don’t live in hurricane-prone areas may not realize it but the livestock, horses, chickens and pigs all needed to be safeguarded, not just domestic pets. Chances are quite a few got displaced.

Daisy Mae’s situation was a little different. She was pregnant and turned into a shelter in Alabama and I’m not very clear as to what the particular circumstances are other than that. She bore seven healthy pups who were adopted out and then Lab Rescue pulled her here to Florida to find a home. During her vetting, it was found that she tested positive for heart worm and must undergo medical treatment for killing the nasty things before she will be completely healthy. Heart worm used to be just a problem in wet, hot areas of the country where mosquitoes would bite an infected dog and then transmit it to the next dog the bug bit. With transporting dogs all over the country, this has made heart worm a national emergency. When I lived in Vermont, we didn’t have many mosquitoes except for the two months it was less cold than the other ten months. But if a heart worm positive dog goes up north, a mosquito biting that dog can then potentially transmit the heart worm parasite to another dog – even with just a short window and even if it hasn’t been a problem in your area in the past. It’s a problem NOW.

Part of Daisy Mae’s traditional Big Pharma treatment plan is to keep her quiet and not let her run or exercise for several months until all of the treatments get done, and even then the lifespan of the heart worms can be as long as six or seven years. This is why most people shy away from adopting heart worm positive dogs. The Heart Worm Society’s website may provide dog owners with a huge eye-opener as to how big a problem this is for everyone’s dogs, not just those in the south or wet areas. Please make sure your pet is on heart worm preventative – especially here in Florida. My Nemo’s preventative meds cost under $100 annually plus his annual blood draw to test. I hated giving him “poison” and had been trying to find an effective natural remedy, but hadn’t yet found one I thought would work on a dog who outweighed me.

I’m looking into finding a holistic veterinarian near me as I write this because the antibiotics and three months of Ivervectin Daisy Mae is going to need just to start her on the road to recovery will likely run just over a thousand dollars going the pharmaceutical route. And being on a Big Pharma “poison” regimen also means she will not be allowed to run around like the wild child she wants to be because the heart worms can clog her arteries if the heart rapidly pumps for that kind of normal exercise.

In other words, normal exercise that any young, happy dog wants could literally kill her if she is not kept calm for her own good. Some of the natural remedies like HWF claim the dog doesn’t have to be crated or kept quiet while undergoing treatment, so obviously, I’m most interested in learning more about that.

I had already done a lot of research about putting Nemo onto a raw diet because of his itchy skin from food allergies, so I was familiar with Dogs Naturally Magazine. I have been doing more research on how to use homeopathic and natural remedies to help rid Daisy Mae of the heart worm and any other nasty parasites to help her Big Pharma treatment accomplish its goal faster and keep her as healthy as possible. I will be supplementing Daisy’s meals using some of the suggested recipes and natural foods I found recommended there. I eat healthy, natural food as much as I can; why wouldn’t I want my dogs to?

It is easier in the summer when it’s so incredibly hot and humid to convince a dog to stay inside in the air conditioning, but we are approaching the lovely time of year in Florida. So far, she seems to be feeling better as far as security of being in “her” home goes, her appetite is fine and she’s settled in with all those who reside here. But as for walking across to the marina to watch sunsets and chase the birds off of the dock like Nemo and I used to do nearly every night, that will have to wait until she is able to walk that far.

This is the first time I have had a dog with heart worm, so it is a learning experience for me. My plan is that Miss Daisy Mae will live out a long, happy and hopefully healthy life here.

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