• Open Access

Comparison of 2 Retrieval Devices for Heartworm Removal in 52 Dogs with Heavy Worm Burden

Authors

  • W.K. Yoon,

    1. Section of Small Animal Internal Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine and Institute of Veterinary Science, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon 201-100, Korea
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  • R. Choi,

    1. Section of Small Animal Internal Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine and Institute of Veterinary Science, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon 201-100, Korea
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  • S.G. Lee,

    1. Cardiology Service, Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC
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  • C. Hyun

    Corresponding author
    • Section of Small Animal Internal Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine and Institute of Veterinary Science, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon 201-100, Korea
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Corresponding author: Changbaig Hyun, DVM, MVSt, PhD, Section of Small Animal Internal Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon, South Korea 201-701; e-mail: hyun5188@kangwon.ac.kr

Abstract

Background

For treating dogs with heavy heartworm infection, mechanical removal using various retrieval devices is useful. However, the efficacy and safety of retrieval devices have rarely been studied.

Hypothesis

Catheter-based heartworm removal using 2 retrieval devices (basket and tripod grasping forceps) is efficient and safe for treating dogs with heavy worm burden.

Animals

Fifty-two client-owned dogs with heavy (Class III and IV) worm burden.

Methods

A retrospective study was performed on 52 dogs, using a catheter-based heartworm removal approach using 2 types of retrieval devices (ie, the basket and the tripod grasping forceps). The efficacy and complications associated with the 2 devices were assessed.

Results

The basket device was used on 22 of the study group dogs, and the tripod grasping forceps was used on 30 of the dogs. The postoperative survival rate was 95.5% for the basket device and 80% for the tripod grasping forceps, but the difference was not statistically significant. The worm number captured per attempt was 3.5 ± 1.7 using the basket device and 1.9 ± 0.85 for the tripod grasping forceps (P < .05). Various complications associated with heartworm removal were noticed with both retrieval devices.

Conclusions and Clinical Importance

This study suggests that catheter-based heartworm removal is not only a relatively safe and efficient therapeutic method in dogs with heavy worm burden, but more efficient using the basket device. Our data do not indicate a clear safety advantage between the 2 devices evaluated, although the survival rate was numerically higher in dogs undergoing a basket intervention.

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