A dog whose Lawrence family needed help in paying for their pet's medical attention has been treated and "seems to be doing excellent," a veterinarian said.
Dr. Kevin Kuenzi, a veterinarian for Jefferson County Veterinary Clinics, treated the dog, Shadow, during the first week of June and said Shadow "was one of the easiest dogs I've ever treated for heartworm."
Shadow, who was diagnosed as having heartworm about two months ago, is owned by the Osburn family, 1241 Prospect. The Osburn children, Ashley, Michael and James, were featured in a May 31 Journal-World article.
The children were selling homemade bookmarks door-to-door in their East Lawrence neighborhood to help raise money to have Shadow treated for heartworm disease, which is fatal if not treated.
Local residents quickly came to the aid of the family and donated more than $300 to help the dog.
Shadow, a black, 1-year-old, 50-pound Labrador retriever-chow mix, stayed in Kuenzi's clinic in Perry for three days after initial treatment for heartworm. Kuenzi said his initial treatments were designed to kill the adult heartworms in Shadow.
"After the initial treatment, it is important for the dog not to do any running or strenuous exercise," Kuenzi said.
The initial treatment causes dead, adult heartworms to be pumped from a dog's heart into its lungs, where they are destroyed by the animal's immune system. Strenuous activity can dislodge many of the dead worms at once, causing a fatal allergic reaction when the worms are pumped into the animal's lungs, he said.
A second and final treatment to kill immature heartworm larvae in the dog's bloodstream will be administered in about four weeks, he said.
Kuenzi said Shadow also will receive regular preventative treatments.
"Preventative treatment is one of the most important things as far as public information goes," he said. "Heartworm is easily preventable with relatively inexpensive treatments."
The cost of private heartworm treatment is $250 to $500. Preventative heartworm shots or pills usually cost less than $50 a year, veterinarians say.