W-K. Yoon, Y-W. Kim, S-I. Suh, C. Hyun*
Section of Small Animal Internal Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicin, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon, Republic of Korea
This study evaluated the changes in the levels of cardiac, hemostatic, and inflammatory biomarkers in 12 dogs with different severities of heartworm infection treated using the slow kill protocol, consisting of 6?10 μg/kg of ivermectin and 10 mg/kg of doxycycline combination. The serum levels of cardiac troponin-I, D-dimer, C-reactive protein, and interleukin-6 were measured on the day of diagnosis (D0), after termination of doxycycline administration (D30), after termination of the slow kill treatment (D180), and 10 months after the initiation of therapy (D300). Heartworm antigenemia was cleared in 4/4 class I dogs, 3/4 class II dogs, and 1/4 class III dogs at the end of the therapy (D180), and in 4/4 class I, 4/4 class II, and 1/4 class III dogs at the end of the study (D300). The serum levels of the markers in class I dogs on the day of diagnosis (D0) were within the reference range, while the levels in class II and III dogs were above the reference range. Further, the serum levels of the markers in all dogs decreased significantly at the end of the study (D300), although some markers in class III dogs remained at pathological levels. This study revealed that the slow kill method should be used only as an alternative therapeutic protocol for dogs with low worm burden (class I and II). As the slow kill method alone may not effectively reduce all pathological changes in dogs with heavy worm burden and severe clinical signs (class III), adjuvant therapies including steroids and anti-thromboembolics should be used to minimize the risk of complications.
Keywords : Heartworm; Biomarker; Slow kill; Doxycycline; Interleukin-6
Keywords : heartworm; biomarker; slow kill; doxycycline; interleukin-6