Welcome to the Greyt Expectations Greyhound Rescue (GEGR) blog page! Here you will find information about our current foster dogs, events, and other information. We are located in Southern Maryland region and help racing Greyhounds into retirement throughout Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, and the Washington, D.C areas! Whether you are looking for a 4-legged family member, a volunteer opportunity, or for new friends, we are excited you are here!

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Artex Oyster: 8/11/18 - Heartworm Treatment 101

Hi Everyone! Oyster here. I wanted to give you all an update on how I'm doing with my heartworm treatment. For those of you that don't know how it works, let me give you a little introduction. Normally, when a pup is on heartworm prevention he would get one tasty beef chew like the one below or possibly a hard chewable tablet once a month. Instead, I have to take a pile of pills EVERY DAY for a couple months. My foster mom makes it easier on me by wrapping them in something yummy. Still, it's a lot to deal with.  I'm staying positive because I know foster mom cares about me getting better. In a couple months when the pills are done, I have to get a series of injections to kill off any adult worms present. I'm not excited about this, but I am a tough boy ready to take on anything. I don't want any of my other canine friends to go through this too, so please make sure you are giving preventatives to your pups every month. My condition is 100% preventable. There are many different options available, so ask your Veterinarian about which type is best for your canine pal.

P.S. Did you know you can get practically a lifetime supply of preventatives for the cost of heartworm disease treatment? It's a no brainer!



Another thing that's kind of a bummer is I cannot exercise...AT ALL...for months during my treatment. Having a raised heart rate can create risks in my treatment process, so I can't go outside to walk more than just to go potty. I can't play and run, climb or jump. I guess the lucky thing is that I'm a greyhound and a couch potato by nature. Still, I don't like missing out. Since I can't have physical exercise, foster mom tries to do mental games with me to expel my energy. We are doing wait training, quiet time training, and hide and seek with treats/kibble. It's a great way for me to learn the ropes of living in a home too.  Anyway, I wish this wasn't how things have to be, but I'm told if I play by the rules now, I can go on to live a happy, healthy life and eventually be able to romp and have a blast like any other pup!

In the meantime, I'm working on perfecting my sad eyes to get sympathy and lots of treats. How am I doing? Foster mom says she can almost hear Sarah McLachlan playing in the background whenever I look at her. #nailedit!


Finally, I close with some interesting facts about heartworms:

1) Dogs contract heartworms from mosquitos. If you live in an area with lots of them, preventatives are essential!
2) Heartworms are NOT contagious to people or dog to dog. Part of the lifecycle must go through a mosquito for the worms to mature to adults
3) Heartworms can make their way into cats sometimes by mistake, but it is very rare. The dog is the preferred host.
4) There are different stages of heartworm disease progression. If left untreated, heartworm disease is fatal. 
5) Doxycycline (the blue pills in the photo) is an antibiotic used to kill a bacteria the worms need to survive and reproduce. We give it ahead of the injections to sterilize existing worms, so the load can't increase. 



Thanks for reading and until next time!

-Oyster


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