I just returned from my vet today and got shocking news. My Bella is heartworm positive!!!

Bella is my rescue dog that I adopted last May. We drove 10 hours from VA to Kentucky Lab Rescue who rescued her and a couple of other labradoodles from a puppy mill.  She had a very sad life. She was in a home at some point, but then was put into a puppy mill to breed. Evidently she had at least 1 or 2 litters before she was rescued. 

She was the most shut down dog ever. She didn't bark, or move away from us, just sat in the cage and stared. Here is a picture of her at the KLR site last May after we took her out of the cage she was hiding in. We spent about 2 hours trying to decide if we should adopt her or a puppy and as you can see, my girls and I decided to rescue her and add her to our family.

I am a single mom to 3 bio boys ( 30, 26 and 20) and adopted my 3 daughters from Ukraine 5 years ago. They were 8, 10, 12. They had been in the orphanage I worked in on my mission trip. I wasn't seeking to adopt, it was a God orchestrated event in my life ( and if you want to read the whole story go to my blog http://dianemarra.typepad.com/ .  We decided that adopting Bella was the right thing to do- if I hadn't adopted my girls where would they be? 

Bella came home with us and Bailey my golden doodle welcomed her with open paws.  She had never been groomed, so it took us about 10 hours to wash her, cut her and clean her up. She never cried while we pulled the mats out, or cut her hair. She just sat there and looked at us with such fear and anxiety.

Here is her picture the day after we groomed her. Isn't she beautiful?


She has come a long way in the past 10 months. A few months ago she made a conscious decision to "trust" and is now a playful loving little girl.  She is about 2 years old.

Here is Bailey and Bella together wearing their DRC scarves with my daughter Natalya. They love each other so much and are a wonderful foster brother and sister duo~!


When I got her last year, she tested negative for heartworm and was placed on Heartguard meds. She has been on them for the past 11 months.  What I didnt' know and wasn't told - to get her retested in 6 months from the first test, as it takes 6 months for the infection to show up on the test. So, even though she has been on meds for the past 11 months, and she now tests positive.

The estimate for treatment was $1425!  So , I am checking around to other vets to get a better estimate. We will have to make some sacrifices to find the money to treat her. We can't imagine letting her go, she is part of our family.  She has no symptoms, she looks perfectly healthy and the smile in her eyes is precious to us.

 

My telling this story is for 2 reasons.

1.  Please pray that Bella recovers from this, such a sad life she has had!

2.  Please make sure that your rescue dog is retested at 6 months from the first HW test, so that you can treat the dog quickly before there is damage done to their heart.

 

I love this doodle community, so I know that you will pray for Bella and for us.

Thanks for listening!

Bella the sweetheart~


Tags: ASPCA, DRC, DRC Inc, HSUS, adopt a dog, animal rescue, animal shelter, dodlerescuecollectiveinc.org, dog rescue, doodle, More…doodle rescue, doodlekisses.com, doodlerescue.org, doodlerescuecollective.com, doodlerescuecollective.org, doodles in need, goldendoodle, goldendoodle rehome, goldendoodle rescue, humane society, labradoodle, labradoodle rehome, labradoodle rescue, non-profit, original and only doodle rescue collective, petfinder, petfinder.com, puppy mill awareness, rescue collective, rescue resource collective

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Oh Diane!! I am so upset for all of you! Paws crossed here for Bella to get through the treatment as easy as possible!

Did the vet say how bad the heartworms are?

Our prayers are with you!!

So praying for her!  So glad that she is with you and know that you will take care of her...good luck.

Diane I don't often post here but have been a member for some time. I so hope Bella gets through her treatment. She's such a lovely doodle and so lucky to have found an angel like you to rescue her. Give her lots of hugs and take a look at this website with information from an old country vet that may make you feel a little better. http://www.oldcountryvet.com/ I am sure she'll come through this with all the love she gets from her family,

Cheers,

Andrea

 

The smile on your beautiful daughter's face is priceless and your dogs are gorgeous!  I will have all of you in my prayers.

Diane, JD and I are keeping you and Bella in our thoughts and prayers. I know you will find a way and she will be just fine.

Diane, that is just terrible!..Poor Bella! ....I am so sorry : (

Don't worry...She's young and healthy and because of her age chances are high that there is no damage to her heart......Jeannine mentioned that they did 2 snap tests......Did they draw blood to see if she has microfilariae? If she has baby worms, then the heart worm prevention you were using is defective and the company should pay for the treatment..

If she has adult worms only, then maybe you can do the long term treatment and she can just stay on the preventative. It depends on how many adult worms show up in the blood sample to determine the extent of the infestation but the long term treatment takes approx 18 months to two years to yield a negative test result and you are already halfway there...

FYI for all - The monthly long term treatment for heart worm itself doesn't actually kill the adult worms.... just the larvae ....The adults  go through their lifecycle and die off within that time on their own but can still do some damage along the way...

Call me..Let's chat about veterinary resources we have that are not as pricey....: )

No worries.....No matter which way you go as far as treatment is concerned, Bella is going to be right as rain...We are all praying for Bella and your family and we're all here to support you girlfriend...: )

Oh Diane - while this is a terrible thing to discover, I'm glad you are the one who adopted Bella.  You will find a way to get her healthy when maybe someone else would not.  It is true - when you are looking for a dog, the right one finds you.  Bella is, as her name implies, a beauty and now looks like a happy part of your family.

 

We all send our love and prayers for her safe recovery.

Bella's story - and your story - are the stuff movies are made from.  A bitter sweet life.  However, we have fostered two Doodles for DRC that had heartworm.  We took them through the treatment and they recovered remarkably well.  Of course, I will be contacting their adopters to strongly encourage retesting (which the vet recommended as well).  But treated quickly they have a great chance for a good life.  Do check other vets - and remind them that she was rescued from a puppy mill and that perhaps they might be willing to write off some of the cost of treatment.  Good luck.  There is obviously much love in your home and that grows lots of goodness in those you touch.
Diane, I can only imagine how you and your family must feel...Bella has had such challenges and has turned the corner with your love and care....only to have this health issue. My prayer is that she will have a complete recovery. You have a very similar story to my own. I'm a single Mom to a bio son and have 2 adopted daughters from Russia (9 years ago yesterday) and an adopted labradoodle, Louie ! Our prayers are with you all!
thanks Joan for your prayers!!! I will keep everyone updated.
I am so sorry to hear this about Bella.  I am so glad that an experienced pet owner has her and will be able to work through this.  I hope Bella's case is more minor than some and treatment will be easier.
I am so sorry to hear that Bella tested positive for heartworm.  Thanks so much for the warning.  I will inform all my fosters to be sure to do a 6-month re-test!

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