Posted in Health, Hygiene

HeartWorms Part 2

Hello yall, HeartWorms Part 1 talked about the signs of heartworms and what they are. Below are facts and questions about the treatment of heartworms and what to look for afterwards. At the very bottom are a few pictures to better help you understand what these little worms are doing to our poor puppies. As you all know I normally have several amazon.com links to products to help or prevent the topic we are on but I have found nothing I would use on my dogs on amazon for this topic. Because of the nature of this worm I would defiantly talk to your vet and plan a regime with them to fit with your budget.

Q: Once my dog has heartworms, what’s the treatment? How much will it cost?

A: The drug that you treat with is called Immiticide. It’s an injectable, arsenic-based product. The dog is given two or three injections that will kill the adult heartworms in the blood vessels of the heart.

The safest way to treat heartworms includes an extensive pre-treatment workup, including X-rays, blood work, and all the tests needed to establish how serious the infection is. Then the dog is given the injections. With all the prep work, it can run up to $1,000. But just the treatment can be done for about $300 in some areas. (not so cheap to treat)

Q: Why do I have to keep my dog quiet during the several months he’s being treated for heartworms?

A: After treatment, the worms begin to die. And as they die, they break up into pieces, which can cause a blockage of the pulmonary vessels and cause death. That’s why dogs have to be kept quiet during the treatment and then for several months afterward. Studies have shown that most of the dogs that die after heartworm treatment do so because the owners let them exercise. It’s not due to the drug itself.

Q: If my dog is diagnosed with heartworms, can I just give him his monthly preventative instead of having him go through treatment? Won’t that kill his heartworms?

A: Studies have shown that if you use ivermectin, the common preventative, on a monthly basis in a dog with heartworm disease, after about two years you’ll kill off most of the dog’s young heartworms. The problem is, in the meantime, all of those heartworms are doing permanent damage to the heart and blood vessels.

But if there’s no way someone can afford the actual treatment, at least using the preventative on a monthly basis could be a lesser alternative.

Q: Can I skip giving my dog his preventative during colder months, when there aren’t any mosquitoes?

A: The American Heartworm Society recommends year-round heartworm prevention. One reason is, there’s already a serious problem with people forgetting to give their dogs the heartworm preventatives. It’s a universal problem. Now if you use it year-round, and you miss a month, your dog will probably still be protected. But if you miss more than one or two months your dog could become infected.

The other reason not to stop is that many of the preventatives today also include an intestinal parasite control for roundworms, whipworms, or tapeworms. You want your dog to be protected against those at all times.

Q: If I don’t treat my dog with heartworms, will he “outgrow” his heartworms?

A: No. He stands a good chance of dying from the disease.

Q: I’ve heard the treatment for heartworms can be dangerous. Are there any newer, safer alternatives?

A: We used to use plain arsenic to treat it, which had many side effects. What we use now is a safer product with fewer side effects. It’s a safe product if used correctly.

Q: If my dog gets heartworms, and is treated for them, can he get them again?

A: Yes, he can get them again. That’s why prevention is so important.

As always I hope this help and if you have any questions please feel free to email me at germanshepherddogs@doglover.com

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Author:

I am a down home Country Woman, and I love to train dogs, and horses. I have produced my own training curriculum through my years. The following blog posts are all my beliefs and how I like to train. If you ever have questions or comments that you would like to email me directly please feel free to email me at germanshepherddogs@doglover.com

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