Heartworm disease is a serious condition that can lead to death in pets. It’s also known as dirofilariasis, dirofilarial infection, or dirofilaridosis.
The heartworms in your dog are parasites that need to reach about 12 inches by the time they reach adulthood. These worms make their way through your dog’s body when it gets bitten by an infected mosquito. Dogs acquire this disease primarily when they are in climates where there are mosquitoes all year round for at least 6 months out of the year.
These worms grow rapidly inside your dog and eventually begin to affect his organs. Over time, untreated heartworm disease can lead to congestive heart failure for your pet which can be very serious.
Treatment for heartworms is going to cost anywhere from $300-$500 on average, depending on your dog’s weight and the severity of his condition. However, you can have a clinical exam done for free at some veterinary offices, if your pet is a rescue or a senior dog. A clinical exam will help determine whether or not your pet has been affected by heartworms so that you know how much treatment is going to cost.
In addition to this initial cost, there are also costs associated with giving the medication as well as subsequent treatments throughout the year if it becomes necessary. Heartworm disease needs constant monitoring as it progresses because as time passes these parasites will cause more damage to the dog’s system and eventually his heart.
You can ensure that you will be able to afford the treatment by taking out a pet insurance policy and choosing one that will cover heartworm disease. They do not come with any hidden costs and will give your dog coverage for all of his preventive care needs.
Is treating heartworm expensive?
Heartworm preventatives are not cheap. If you live in or near an area frequented by mosquitoes, want to keep your dog healthy, and don’t have a mosquito-proof enclosure for him so he can stay indoors at all times, then you’ll probably end up spending several hundred dollars per year on heartworm prevention–at least unless your dog goes outside only in areas where there are no mosquitoes, which is nearly impossible to ensure at all times.
On the other hand, heartworm treatment costs can range from $300 – $500 or more, depending on whether your pet needs one injection (which is usually cheaper) or two (more expensive), and depending on your vet’s fee. Heartworm treatment for a large dog can cost as much as $1,000 or more. This is the main reason why prevention is so critical.
How much does the slow kill heartworm treatment cost?
The slow kill method is used when the pet has heartworm disease. The traditional types of medications that are administered treat the worms more aggressively, causing side effects of vomiting and diarrhea due to the presence of dead worms in the stomach. For some pets, especially older animals or those with kidney or liver problems, this may be more detrimental than the actual presence of the worms.
What is the success rate of heartworm treatment?
There is no one answer to this question because it varies from dog to dog. The type and severity of the worms, the presence (or lack thereof) of secondary infections, and how well your pet’s system can handle medications all play a role in determining how successful treatment will be.
Does heartworm treatment shorten a dog’s life?
The long-term effects of heartworm medication today are much less than those from just a decade ago. Your pet may have an increase in vomiting and diarrhea, but this usually subsides within a few days as his system adjusts to the medication. In many cases, these medications can prolong your dog’s life by strengthening his immune system and making him better able to fight off other infections.
How much does heartworm treatment cost with pet health insurance?
Most major carriers of pet insurance cover the full cost of heartworm prevention and treatment, according to a survey by the nonprofit Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (2003). But as with any type of insurance coverage, it’s important to read the fine print and make sure you understand what is and is not covered.
What happens if my dog doesn’t receive heartworm treatment?
This varies from pet to pet, but usually, the worms will cause congestive heart failure within a year or two after infection. This can be a lengthy and very painful death as your pet’s lungs and other organs become progressively more clogged with fluid until he ultimately suffocates to death.