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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] .
post Post   Comments (8)  
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
Heartworm Treatment
Amount: $1,000.00
Posted by: Marcus Moore in Gainesville, FL.Posted: March 15th, 2019 07:03AM
Adopted GSD from guy at church. Took to vet to make sure she was ok and to establish a heath record. Tested pos for heartworm. Opted for the year-long treatment starting with Doxycycline twice daily and monthly Heart Gard/Worm Gard. Getting first injection today followed by two days of shots in 30 days. Absolutely no exertion for next two months which is going to be brutal for her and for us. We're gonna crate her during the day but the wife is home several times during the day so she'll be released from "jail" during those visits. She has to be on leash outside the house, even if just in the yard. First thing we're gonna do when this whole thing is over is take her to the doggy park and let her run till she drops!
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Chesapeake Bay Retriever mix rescue dog with heartworm
Amount: $500.00
Posted by: Josephina S. in Luzerne County, PA.Posted: February 2nd, 2017 03:02PM
My dog was pulled from a high kill shelter in South Carolina. When our dog was first tested for heartworm he was negative. A year or so later, he tested positive. The vet explained it could take 7 months for the heartworm to incubate and show up positive on the test. I took him to a new vet in hopes that the first place was wrong but he tested positive again. Each place quoted around $900 - $1,200 for the arsenic-based shots and to stay over night for observation. That did not include the price of the heartworm / lyme test ($60) and the X-ray on his chest&lungs ($75 - $150). They also checked his blood under a microscope to look for visible worms. Not sure on the price for that. After hearing about how painful and lethargic your dog has to be (for upwards of a month so that they dont throw a blood clot and die) we decided to use the slow kill method. After much prayer, we gave him doxycycline and keep him on heartworm preventative. It will take up to 2 yrs for it to clear.
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Heatworm treatment in mixed retreiver
Amount: $1,300.00
Posted by: a user in Bronx, NY.Posted: June 4th, 2016 04:06AM
Pet was a rescue from who was negative from snap test but tested positive at annual exam. So far, 1300 just for tests and antibiotics. Starts first injection today but all I was told was whole procedure would be between 1500-1700.
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Adult pit mix
Amount: $824.00
Posted by: Shesworthit in Mansfield, OH.Posted: January 22nd, 2016 10:01AM
Tested positive 3 days after adoption. No symptoms. At shelter for 4 months prior to adopt. Includes entire diagnostic and treatment.
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Heartworm treatment on Pit Boxer Mix
Amount: $2,000.00
Posted by: Titus in WV in Martinsburg, WV.Posted: September 28th, 2015 05:09PM
This estimate includes all Xray, medications and injections for mid stage discovery. Dog weighs 72lbs. Dog tested positive at yearly exam. Was a rescue adoption and had tested negative previous.
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Heart worms
Amount: $900.00
Posted by: Worried in Laporte, TX.Posted: August 16th, 2015 04:08PM
I have a rescue min pin 2yrs old male.They said it was kennel cough but he kept coughing so i took to Vet and xrays blood work all his shots and he has heart worms and coughs but he is still active when i let him but starts breathing hard fairly quick.I put him on heart guard and its been 2 months and i take him in on 1st of 3rd month to start treatment.I just hope this works and does not kill him.He has turned out to be the smartest dog and a pleaser. Listen to everything you teach him.
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heartworm treatment on labrador weighing 84lbs
Amount: $1,800.00
Posted by: [email protected] in sacramento, CA.Posted: April 11th, 2015 03:04PM
this is a quote by my vet and live in California can i get it cheaper anywhere else or is that about what it cost for injections and staying in hospital overnight
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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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