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Updates on Sophie’s Heartworm Treatment

Sophie has been doing well so far. For the past month, she has been on a twice-a-day antibiotic (Doxycycline) to begin killing the heartworms in her blood vessels. She has been able to maintain her normal activity levels and she has been enjoying life.

On Thursday (tomorrow), she will return to the vet for the next round of treatment. She will receive a fast-acting injection to immediately kill the adult worms. This process has greater risks and she will also have to be kept in a calm, low-action state for the next month before the NEXT round of injections. 

We still have two months to go in this process and the scarier part is next, so needless to say I am quite nervous. I recently started my new AmeriCorps program with City Year, so I have long days and low funds.

After a few friends suggested it, I created a Go Fund Me page to see if I could fundraise to help cover the costs of Sophie’s treatment. I have already spent over $1000 on her this year and I am struggling to pay for this treatment.

If you would like to visit my page, here is the link: http://www.gofundme.com/cb9ma8.

I appreciate your support more than you can imagine! 

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Heartworms =(

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I have posted in quite awhile, and I wish I was posting better news. Sophie and me have been easy adjusting to life in Orlando, nearing the end of my AmeriCorps program and planning our next steps. Sophie adores her grandparents, Auntie Lauren and her best friend Charlie and she doesn’t seem like the same nervous, timid dog I rescued a year ago.

Unfortunately, at Sophie’s annual vet visit last month we found out she is heartworm positive. She has been on heartworm preventative since I adopted her (we use Heartgard Plus now after our issues with Trifexis due to Sophie’s history of seizures). However, because only full adults were found, our vet thinks she was positive when I adopted her last year. Apparently there is a period of time between contracting heartworms and testing positive for them, so Sophie fell into that unfortunate timeline when the rescue tested her for them.

So, we began treatment for her – my vet chooses the longer route to ensure that the heartworms are completely eradicated. She is currently on an antibiotic for a month, after which she will need to be hospitalized twice for two injections and will be on exercise-restriction. I am pretty worried about the whole process,though my doctor ensured me that she was young and otherwise healthy and he believes she will have an easy recovery. It is also rather stressful how much the entire treatment process will cost – this little beagle has turned out rather expensive! Here’s hoping I’ll have more positive updates soon!

 

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Days Home with Mommy

This week I was sick, quite sicker than I have been in awhile, so I stayed home from work two days. I think Sophie enjoyed being home with me. I have been very busy with work (my AmeriCorps year is coming to an end in July), as well as my social life has picked up so sometimes I am not home as much as Sophie would probably like. She has my sister and parents and Charlie the Labrador, but I think she enjoys me being home. We spent the days together, watching tv and lounging in my room. She was a great sick day buddy!

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Happy Mother’s Day!

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Hello! My goal this summer is to update Sophie’s blog more regularly as our one-year anniversary approaches!

Last weekend, our family had a BBQ for Mother’s Day at my aunt’s house. This is the same aunt who fosters rescue dogs for Animal Advocates. She currently has three fosters, as well as her own 5 dogs. I decided to bring Sophie along because she doesn’t go on as many adventures as she did when we lived in Miami.

In addition to Sophie and my aunt’s dogs, my cousin brought his dog Luna over as well, so it was quite the dog party.

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Sophie was nervous at first in the new setting (she has only been to my aunt’s house once before when she was very new). She grew quite comfortable though – she enjoyed running around my aunt’s huge backyard, playing with Luna and rolling in every gross smelly thing she found in the yard.

She even went for a swim, though not willingly! She doesn’t seem to enjoy the pool, but she does swim very well…right to the edge to climb out. She had to get a bath before we drove home though, which was probably her least favorite part of the day.

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Spring Break body?

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Sophie is fat.

Yes, fat. Charlie the Labrador had his annual visit last Saturday. He’s pretty healthy for a nine-year-old Lab, though he is also fat…very fat. He weighs 113lbs. He is also very allergic to the fleas that it seems Sophie brought home.

Charlie’s visit to the vet, inspired me to have a Mommy/Dog weigh-in on Saturday morning (you know, after your shower and before you eat when you are the skinniest!) I was happy with my weight…I lost 5lbs! Sophie must have eaten them -_-

When I adopted Sophie (255 days ago to be exact), she was a skinny little thing at 19lbs. She gained some weight and eventually settled at 23-24lbs, at which point our vet said she was perfect. Now Sophie weighs 28.8lbs. 

I know why she’s gained weight too…her grandparents. My parents like to give out cookies and treats and little bites of dinner and a piece of cheese now and then and a little nibble of whatever they are eating. This is why their Labrador is fat, and now my Beagle is fat.

Sophie already goes on several walks a day, but we are going to start going on longer ones. I took her to the dog park, though it didn’t go over well so I’m not sure we’ll be returning. I am going to ensure we are feeding her the right proportions and I am going to make sure she isn’t getting extra snacks. Heck, her and Charlie are going to become walking buddies.

Here it is, Spring Break, and Sophie definitely doesn’t have a Spring Break body!

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Fleas =O

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I haven’t been the best puppy mom lately. I have been working 50-55 hours a week as well as spending a good deal of time with some certain friends. I am lucky that Sophie has her grandparents, aunt and the Labradors to hang out with. I normally am only able to walk her once a day and she sleeps with me, but I definitely should spend more time with her.

Lately, we’ve encountered a flea problem. Neither of the Labradors have ever had fleas before – despite living in Florida, but Sophie has had several on her in the past few weeks.

Before she started having seizures, Sophie was on Trifexis, but after her epilepsy diagnosis, she was taken off of it. She takes Heartgard for heartworm prevention, but she isn’t currently on a flea maintenance. I use an anti-flea & tick shampoo and she gets a bath at least once a week, but other than that, I’m not sure what to do about the fleas.

Sophie only seems to have a few and they don’t bother her, but one of the Labradors (Charlie) seems to be allergic to fleas and gets incredibly irritated when he is bitten. We treated him with medicated shampoo and flea treatment and he has improved, but I’m sure he might catch them again if Sophie still has them.

Any advice for a tropical Beagle with a minor flea problem?

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Best in Show

For as long as I can remember, I’ve watched the Westminster Dog Show. I was the kid who would write it on my calendar and plead with my parents to let me stay up late both nights and watch the finale (I was also the kid who got a dog breed encyclopedia when I was about four years old). I was a teenager before I actually saw the ‘Best in Show’ segment live. 

I watched the show in college with my roommates and my ex-boyfriend and this year I made a point to see at least some of it. Due to my work (and sleep) schedule, I only saw the ‘Hound’ group on Monday and basically the finale last night. I made sure to watch it with Sophie though!

My Best in Show <3

My Best in Show ❤

Seven dogs are selected to compete for ‘Best in Show‘. They are the winners of the seven groups: Hound, Toy, Non-Sporting, Herding, Sporting, Working and Terrier. Personally, my favorites are usually in the Hound, Herding, Sporting or Working groups. I’ve always had a love for Labradors and now Beagles! (The last Beagle to win Best in Show was in 2008!)

This year, I was rooting for the Bloodhound! Sophie was too, though to be honest it was significantly past her bedtime and she was dozing on the couch. Unfortunately, a Wire Fox Terrier won. There is always next year – and at least I got to watch the show with my best pal!