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Heartworm Treatment Cost


How Much Does a Heartworm Treatment Cost?

 
 average costTypical: $500-$1,100+  
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Heartworm is a serious and potentially fatal disease in both dogs and cats. As detailed in an American Heartworm Society video[1] , the parasites are transmitted by mosquitoes and flourish in the heart and blood vessels of infected dogs.

Typical costs:

  • The cost of treating dogs with heartworm usually runs around $1,000, but can be $500-$1,100 or more depending on the size of the dog and the stage of the disease.
  • For cats, there is no known treatment for heartworm. However, cats seem to be more resistant to heartworm and, if infected, they sometimes recover on their own.
Related articles: Dog Vaccination, Cat Vaccination, Pet Insurance, Dog Flea Control, Pet Allergy Testing, Lyme Disease Treatment for Dogs

What should be included:
  • Heartworm symptoms include chronic coughing, tiring easily, unwillingness to exercise, difficulty breathing, lethargy and an enlarged abdomen. Treating heartworm in dogs is a lengthy and pricey process, and can be taxing on the dog's health.
  • First, the veterinarian will conduct diagnostic testing (also called doing a "work-up" of the dog), to determine how infected it is with the disease. This will include blood chemistries to check organ function, X-rays to look at heart and lungs and perhaps an ultrasound if the disease is severe. The diagnostic stage is considered a very important part of treatment; short cutting pre-treatment could lead to devastating results, according to the American Heartworm Society.
  • Treating the pet involves two to three injections. The main drug used is Melarsomine (brand name Immiticide). There is some risk involved in treating dogs with heartworms, although fatalities are rare. Suite101.com discusses the treatment options and risks[2] .
  • Treatment cost should also include follow up appointments within a month of the injection(s).
  • Following the injection, the dog's movement needs to be restricted for several weeks. As the heartworms die and break up, they are carried through the blood to the lungs and are eventually reabsorbed by the body. However, if a dog is exerting itself, blood will flow rapidly and a lot of worms could overwhelm the lungs at once. Coughing is one sign that this may have happened.
Additional costs:
  • Veterinarians and animal experts strongly urge dog and cat owners to give their pets preventative heartworm medication, which costs between $58 and $159 for a year's supply. The vet may also advise giving Heartgard to kill immature heartworms, since the initial treatment will likely only kill the adult worms.
  • Consider taking time off from work, or making other arrangements, to ensure that the dog is resting properly for the necessary four to six weeks following the initial injections, as this is a crucial stage in the treatment.
Discounts:
  • If the animal is covered by pet insurance, check to see what costs, if any, will be covered.
Shopping for a heartworm treatment:
  • Heartgard[3] , TriHeart[4] and Interceptor[5] are the leading heartworm prevention brands.
  • To find a veterinarian, visit the American Veterinary Medicine Association's vet finder[6] .
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
Heartworm meds and high liver enzyme
Amount: $500.00
Posted by: a user in Reno, NV.Posted: December 21st, 2013 03:12PM
Please ask your Vet. how often you should give heartworm meds. There are so many variables. Where you live? Sociability of pets? Climate?
Ask your Vet. about which heart worm meds have the ingredient that could cause high liver enzyme.
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External Resources:
  1.  www.heartwormsociety.org/pet-owner-resources/canine.html
  2.  suite101.com/article/heartworm-treatment-in-dogs-a114674
  3.  www.heartgard.com/Pages/index.aspx
  4.  www.triheartplus.com/index.html
  5.  www.interceptor.novartis.us/
  6.  www.avma.org/advocacy/stateandlocal/statevma/pages/default.aspx
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