Save Our Setters, Inc.

Hello, my name is McRIB.  I am about five years old and as you can see I am very skinny.  I am in very poor condition and have heartworms.  I spent five years at the end of a chain.  My prognosis is poor, but what does the vet know about the Irish spirit?  Apparently not much!  The rescue folks are really pulling for me, and have promised to spend whatever it takes to make me well, down to the very last dollar in the bank account.  I'm sure glad they care so much!  How about you?
Fostered by Alissa in TN.

Donations for McRIB now at $2088.00 - Thanks!!!!
Estimated costs through 01/18/07 - $1250.00 (Just the beginning)
(Excess funds, if any, will be applied to another furkid in need!)
McRIB is severely anemic and horribly malnourished.  Because of his poor condition, we cannot begin
heartworm treatment for quite some time.  Please
keep your paws crossed for this sweet boy!!
Graphic Pics - don't click here if you can't handle it!!
McRIB's right ear leather is split near the end...
... and the scar tissue extends almost all the way to the ear canal.
As much as we would have preferred to wait awhile before starting heartworm treatment, that simply is not an option.  We have boosted his system as much as possible, and will give him a half dose of immiticide tomorrow, Dec. 21st.

While there is always a risk of a segment breaking loose and causing problems, that is not our biggest concern.  The heartworms in his lungs are a very strong indication of a breach in the Pulmonary Artery.  We can only hope that the breach has sealed and is not merely plugged by another heartworm.  Any breaches can easily allow significant amounts of blood into the lungs, and the dog can suffocate.  Please remember to keep your paws crossed for this sweet boy!!
It's now Saturday morning, and Mac gets to spend time with Mommy in the home office.  Chin and neck scratches are always appreciated.  He is coughing very little now.  The supportive treatments of Lasix, Pred, Baytril, Doxy, and IV fluids have helped considerably!

When I picked him up on Thursday, I weighed him to see how many pounds he had gained on his Science Diet AD plus two cups puppy kibble - four times daily.  Boy, was I shocked to find he had LOST three and a half pounds!  YIKES!!  Then I thought about it...

YAAAAY!!!  The medicine removed over a half gallon of fluid, primarily from his chest.  The Dog-ter listened to his lungs, and was thrilled to hear AIR SOUNDS, not just gurgling!  YIPPEE!!!!!!!!
McRIB Christmas!!!!
Thursday, December 28th, 2006 - a day to remember!  I learned that my foster mom can dance... WOW!  Who woulda thunk it??  Actually, it was pretty scary, but she was obviously happy about something!  Maybe it's because I gained six whole pounds, or maybe it's because the Dog-ter said I sounded SO much better inside.  I dunno... but I am feeling a lot better, and that's what matters to me!  Anyway, I heard them say something about not being out of the woods (like I'm allowed to play in the woods - NOT!), but my chances are up from ten percent to around fifty percent.  Do ya think that means we are going to the casinos soon?
I had a rough few days over the holiday weekend, and the Dog-ter called in a prescription called Lasix to help me breathe easier.  I was coughing quite a bit.  Tuesday morning, I was back at the clinic getting tests.  Turns out I had elevated WBC count of 56k from a bad worm reaction that was bordering on pneumonia.  I wasn't running a fever, though.  Anyway, I stayed at the clinic Tuesday through Thursday getting lots of meds to combat the infection.  Thursday morning my WBC count was down to 21k, and I was hardly coughing at all.  The Dog-ter is still amazed that I am so chipper considering what my body is going through.  My foster mom also requested (and the Dog-ter agreed) more needles, something about B Complex, Iron, and a couple other things.  All they had to say was needles, and I was ready to hit the door!

The Dog-ter also spoke with the folks at Merial (makers of Immiticide), and explained what was going on.  They said the half dose actually killed up to 90% of the worms, and severe worm reactions in Class 3 cases (what I have) are not unusual.  They did recommend a different protocol going forward, so we will not do another half dose until February.  They want all the dead worms from the first dose to clear out completely before killing any more heartworms.

On the bright side, my foster mom smuggled in a package of hot dogs.  YUM!!!  I would have eaten the whole package all at once if she would have let me!
Even sick pups need some fresh air now and then - closely supervised, of course!!
January 10th, and I am back spending the night at the clinic.  I am doing well, just here as a precautionary measure.  I am about 5% dehydrated (not bad considering everything my body is going through), my RBC is up slightly (YAY!), but my WBC is up to 24k.  Tomorrow, I will be three weeks out from my first immiticide injection, so I am half-way through the worst of it.  While an elevated WBC count is good in that it helps clear out the dead worm emboli, the number of WBC's has to be kept in check to prevent other problems.

The Dog-ter was very pleased with how my heart and lungs sounded.  My respiration rate is much more normal now, with lots of good air sounds.  My heartrate is also much closer to normal, so my heart isn't having to work so hard.  It was pretty tough work for my heart to get the blood past all those heartworms before, so this means that there are considerably fewer worms blocking the blood vessels and heart valves.  No wonder I'm feeling better!!
January 11th, and I am back home.  I am beginning to feel like a yo-yo!!  The Dog-ter says that he is optimistic - he really didn't think I'd make it this far, plus I am eating and drinking very well - all good signs!!  If all continues to go well, I go back to the clinic in two weeks for more bloodwork (full panel), and, depending on how I sound inside, more x-rays to see if I'm ready for the next round of immiticide.   I'm hoping I'll be well enough, as I'm tired of all the needles and cage rest!!
January 18th, and back to the clinic for a recheck.  Truthfully, it was to BRAG!!  I am doing so well, the Dog-ter can't believe it!!!  He said there is some consolidation in one of my lungs, but that was expected and not a big concern.  I didn't listen very well to what the Dog-ter was saying because the vet tech was giving me treats (we all have our priorities, after all), but I do remember something about the scar tissue not allowing the consolidated sections to expand and contract like normal lung tissue.

On another note, Mom ratted me out, darn it!!  I was so embarrassed!  She actually told them that I picked up a stuffie and carried it around for a little while.   There goes my "manly dog" image, right down the tubes!!  Gosh, I hope no one else finds out about it!!
January 21st, and I am doing sooo much better!!  I am hardly coughing at all now.  I feel well enough to trot down the hall (until Mom pulls me back and makes me walk, that is).  Mom says I have puppy legs - very gangly and not well coordinated.  She laughs at me trotting, but I don't care - it feels so good just to be able to move around freely, without a chain hooked to my collar!!

I am a total pig when it comes to treats, and rarely turn my nose up at any of the goodies offered me.  I especially like pasta, which I hear is good for me - hope my new forever family knw this!!  My next appointment is February 1st, and I can hardly wait to show them how well I am doing!  I am also anxious to step on the scale because I know I've been eating enough for three dogs (but I'm still not going to share my treats)!!
January 23rd, 2007...  McRIB has gone to the Bridge.

For the first week following administration of the immiticide, I slept on the floor in the computer room in order to give him easy access to me should he need anything.  After the first week, I finally got smart and put one of the doggy crib mattresses on the floor which still gave him easy access to me, and was much easier on this old body.  He would step up when he wanted to be close, and would step down when he wanted solitude.

Last night, I fell asleep with Mac's head resting on my leg.  His breathing was relaxed, and there was no reason to suspect anything was about to go terribly wrong.  When I saw all the blood, and knew he had thrown a clot that probably went to his heart and caused a major vessel to burst.  He is sorely missed.

He has a special spot on the hill overlooking the pond.  Sleep well my little angel boy.