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heartworm treatment changed my dog??
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heartworm treatment changed my dog??

My Golden Retriever "Calvin" is very nervous about a LOT of things and we just sort of got used to the fact that he is just that way. However, in '07 or '08, we took a trip to Missouri where the insects are horrendous and ended up missing his heart-worm dose for that month. Well of course he developed heart-worms about a year later. We got him treated and he hasnt been the same ever since. He used to LOVE traveling, hiking, swimming and camping. No more. He is even more scared about everything than before and he just seems SO stupid now! I try everything I can to make him happy, since I thought he maybe gets depressed during the winter, or maybe he wasnt getting enough attention. Well, that doesnt seem to work. He doesnt want to camp or swim anymore, he will jump in the car and refuse to come out. He always looks depressed no matter what! I am tired of feeling like a horrible pet owner and was wondering if anybody might have any similar stories?? I cant be sure the heart-worms had anything to do with it, but I cannot figure out what else it could be. Maybe he is brain damaged from a clot or something..  
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Bad reactions to heartworm medication usually include vomiting, loss of appetite, jaundice, diarrhea. I think these symptoms would be more likely to occur during treatment, and not a long time after.
He wasn't given treatment at the same time as Heartworm Preventative meds, was he? Because that can cause some dangerous reactions, and no vet should administer both at the same time.
And...the medication dose is worked out by the dog's weight. Bad reactions can occur if too much is given for the dog's weight.

Bad side effects from the preventative medication can be loss of co-ordination, dilated pupils, trouble breathing.

I might be very wrong here so don't take what I say as gospel. But I slightly empathize with you because my Misty has developed some odd ways too.
I am wondering if such things might just be a normal part of getting older. I am sure it's that way with my dog, but of course I would say that any marked behaviour changes especially if resulting in unusual lethargy, could do with checking out with the vet.. And the best place to start I think is a complete senior blood panel (for dogs over 7-8)

And no-one knows your dog better than yourself. You can gauge whether this is something worthy of medical attention, or whether it's just oddness (!) or even aging.

If yours is younger than that, then get him checked anyway. What can look like depression to us CAN be because the dog isn't feeling well.

Anyway I'll briefly describe my dog's little "changes"....
She is basically very fit and well. But a while ago (weeks ago now) I found that she was creeping along behind me when we walked in certain fields! If we went into other, different fields, she was completely happy and her normal energetic self! One day she didn't want to get out of the car, so I thought I'll wait and see how she is in an hour or so, maybe she needs to see the vet....I took her home for a nap, and to see what happened. As soon as we got home she was running up and down the garden barking at passers-by, and raced around when we went out for a walk about an hour later.....
I was throwing her frisbee, and she looked tired, like she didn't want to be bothered. Then I threw a different toy for her to chase, and she was back to her normal self!
Sometimes she can look sad and depressed (if I am doing some job or something) I worry I'm not doing something she needs me to......I take her out and she is just fine.
I just begin to be slightly concerned about her, wondering if something could be wrong, and then she shows me she is absolutely OK. She eats well, sleeps well, runs well, does pees and poops well.....everything just fine.

I cannot explain these little strange things which have developed in her over about 3-4 months. She shows no sign of being unwell at all. The vet checked her out and said he found nothing wrong with her, and what's more she was in excellent health and condition for her age!
But she has developed these strange ways recently! And it can make me feel vaguely "guilty" sometimes, as if there is something I'm doing wrong!
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Avatar_m_tn
I'm searching on Google and I found this.......I am having the same exact issues......I adopted my dog Delta and she was the most perfect dog in the world, she had heartworms when I adopted her so of course I got it treated. NOW she seems scared of me and I am trying EVERYTHING to get her back to normal. I know you wrote this in 2011 I am wondering did your dog every get back to normal? I hope she is gonna snap out of it any day.
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