Thursday, March 18, 2010

Heartworms: The Follow-up

(I chose this photo to show how much Father had recovered after being heartworm free. He filled out, and his coat looks really good.)

I took Father back to the vet several weeks after his heartworm treatment. This involved another lovely trip to Knightdale with Father puking and peeing the whole way. In the typical vet visit, we would check in at the receptionist’s desk, wait in the reception area, stare at the wood paneling (the place was built in the late 60’s / early 70’s, decades devoid of architectural advancements and abundant with tackiness), hope that Father wouldn’t try to kill another client’s dog, a trip to an exam room with a pit-stop at the scales in order for Father to be weighed, followed by some more waiting in the exam room, a pre-vet exam by a vet tech, followed by an exam by the vet his or herself.

Father and I were waiting in the exam room a few minutes when a middle-aged man entered the room. It was Dr. Kahdy, a partner in the practice. He himself was a dog owner (Great Danes, I think), and he owned horses, too. Father immediately tried to hide under my chair. It was sweet that Father would come to me for protection, considering that several months ago, all he would do around me was bark and growl. I was starting to gain his trust. Although Dr. Kahdy is a short guy and doesn’t look menacing, he does have a deep voice which must have scared Father more than he already was under the circumstances. Strangers, especially men, scared Father. We speculate that men in Father’s past may have abused him.

Dr. Kahdy could see how scared Father was, and when I told him that Father was scared of strangers, especially men, Dr. Kahdy said “OK” and left the room. A few minutes later, a female vet came into the exam room. She had dark brown hair, blue eyes and was petite and perky. I found her to be attractive. Dr. Lindsay, an associate vet at the clinic, stuck around for several years, but moved to Greensboro because of her husband’s new job. Whenever Father visited the clinic, Dr. Lindsay was almost always the vet who looked after him. With Abby or Andy, they were seen by any and almost every vet practicing at the clinic.

Father was heartworm free; the treatment worked. I knew that Father wasn’t going to die, but I didn’t know if there would be visible changes in him now that he was cured of this disease. A few months later, I would find out what a difference being free of heartworms had for Father’s energy level. He grew stronger and faster by the day. Of course, his gaining weight helped, but it wasn’t until later that I realized what a horrible and yet easily preventable disease heartworms is.

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