Chance is due for his annual well puppy visit in November — he is then due for a number of injections and lab tests, specifically DHLPP, fecal, HW/lyme/ehrlichia/ana and lyme. He is on rabies medication until July 2015. He has been on heartworm medication all his life. We live on a small piece of property with many deer, but we’ve never had an issue with ticks. We do Frontline monthly.
Does he really need all of this protection? What would be most important? I have never had a dog on so much medication, and I worry about it being too much, especially considering his health conditions.
— S.E., Woodbine, Md.
Dear S.E.: Dogs with various heart diseases can do remarkably well when given the appropriate medications — especially those that are tried and true for human cardiac patients.
Since you do not specify what kind of congenital heart disease your dog has, I cannot offer any specific advice. Your Chance should be on a low-salt diet. Supplements such as CoQ10, fish oil (for omega-3 fatty acids), potassium and magnesium should be discussed with your veterinarian.
Your dog’s blood pressure needs careful monitoring — it is significantly affected by the health of his kidneys; signs of fluid retention, called edema, causing swelling in the abdomen or limbs; and a non-productive cough. Keep him on the lean side. He should not need any DHLPP booster combo-vaccination.
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