Heartworms are a serious medical condition. What’s worse is that they can affect our dogs. Now, normally, we’d bring heaven and earth together to take care of our dogs. But, this approach may not necessarily work for heartworms.
Not only is the treatment itself quite risky, but the cost is also very high. Therefore, in this article, I will tell you about the cheapest way to treat heartworms in your dog.
How do dogs get heartworms, to begin with?
Heartworm is a serious and potentially fatal disease that is transmitted to dogs by mosquitoes. Mosquitoes become infected with heartworm larvae by biting an infected animal, such as a dog, cat, or wild animal.
The larvae then develop into adult heartworms in the mosquito’s blood vessels. When the mosquito bites another animal, it injects the heartworm larvae into the new host’s bloodstream, where they mature and reproduce.
Dogs can get heartworms without showing any symptoms. The only way to know if they have heartworms is through a blood test.
In order for a mosquito to transmit heartworms, it must first bite an infected animal. After the mosquito sucks blood from an infected animal, it will ingest the heartworm larvae.
The larvae then grow and mature inside the mosquito for 6-7 months before they are injected into another dog when the mosquito bites again. This is how dogs get heartworms in the first place.
What are the typical symptoms of heartworm disease in dogs?
Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal condition that affects dogs. The disease progresses through four stages, with stage four being the most severe.
Symptoms of heartworm disease include coughing, difficulty breathing, weight loss, and lethargy. Treatment for heartworm disease is expensive, but it is necessary in order to prevent the dog from dying.
In fact, a lot of dogs who have heartworm infections don’t show any clinical signs. This means that the owners may not be aware that their dogs are infected until they get a blood test done.
The earlier the vet diagnoses the infection, the easier and less expensive it will be to treat the dog for heartworms.
Heartworm disease can progress and damage your dog’s vital organs, including the heart, lungs, liver, and kidneys. Once again, if left untreated, the disease can be fatal. Symptoms of heartworm disease in dogs include coughing, difficulty breathing, lethargy, and weight loss.
Treatment for heartworm disease is expensive, but it is crucial to seek timely treatment to protect your pet’s health.
How do vets diagnose heartworms in dogs?
There are various methods that veterinary practitioners use to diagnose heartworms in dogs. The most common is through a blood test, which looks for the presence of heartworm antigen and microfilariae. Other tests include X-rays, ultrasounds, and echocardiograms.
After a dog is diagnosed with heartworms, the vet will likely order tests to determine the severity of the infection. One common test is the heartworm antigen test, which looks for proteins released by adult heartworms.
If the antigen test is positive, the vet will likely order a microfilariae test to determine if the adult heartworms are breeding. If there are no microfilariae, it might mean that the dog only has female heartworms or that the heartworms are at an immature stage.
If your vet suspects that the heartworm infection has progressed to a more serious stage, she may order chest x-rays, ultrasound, or an echocardiogram to get a better idea of the damage done to the heart and lungs.
However, if your dog has already contracted the disease and has reached class 4 with caval syndrome (a very high risk of death), your vet may recommend immediate surgery to remove the worms.
This is a costly but necessary procedure, so be sure to factor in the cost of treatment when making decisions about your pet’s health.
Ways of treating heartworms in dogs
Here are the different options you can choose from in order to treat heartworms in your dog.
AHS-recommended conventional heartworm treatment for dogs.
The American Heartworm Society (AHS) recommends a conventional heartworm treatment for dogs. Dogs must be on preventative meds for several months before starting treatment.
They will give the antibiotic doxycycline at the same time as the adulticide Immiticide injections. Dogs may need to stay at the clinic for injections for 60, 90, and 91 days after starting treatment. Prednisone is given to reduce side effects.
After a year of treatment, the vet will test for microfilariae to ensure that the heartworms have been eliminated. If the worms are not eliminated, then a different course of treatment will be prescribed.
Slow-kill or soft-kill heartworm treatment for dogs.
There are two main types of heartworm treatment- the slow-kill or soft-kill method and the fast-kill method. The slow-kill or soft-kill method is less effective and can take a long time to be completed. It also requires a longer confinement period for your dog.
Typically, in this line of treatment, vets will prescribe preventive medicines for heartworms along with an antibiotic known as doxycycline. Unlike the conventional treatment, this line of treatment won’t need your dog to be subjected to Immiticide shots.
There are natural alternatives to conventional heartworm treatment, but they are not as effective or safe. Some people advocate for a slow-kill or soft-kill approach, but this is not always the best option for your dog.
Consult with your consulting veterinarian to find the best way to treat your pet and protect them from heartworms.
Herbal formula for heartworm treatment in dogs.
There are a number of different ways to treat heartworms in dogs, both conventional and holistic. One popular holistic treatment is an herbal formula made up of ginger, wormwood, garlic, and thyme.
This formula is claimed to be effective in clearing heartworms from the dog’s system without any harsh chemicals or side effects. However, there is little scientific evidence to support these claims.
Before embarking on a natural heartworm treatment for your dog, be sure to consult with a holistic vet or herbalist. They will help you figure out the right dosage and help make sure that your pup is getting the best possible care.
While heartworm herbal treatments are becoming more popular, some are questioning their efficacy. The active ingredient in wormwood, thujone, can be toxic in high doses and cause gastrointestinal irritation if not given separately in a gelatin capsule.
Additionally, many of these treatments are still unapproved by the FDA, so it’s important to do your research before starting any kind of treatment.
Herbal formulae with bromelain to treat heartworms in dogs.
Heartworm disease is a severe and fatal parasitic infection caused by the nematode, Wuchereria bancrofti. Bromelain is an enzyme extracted from pineapple that has been shown to help break down the dead worms.
While there is no cure for heartworm disease, early diagnosis and treatment can help reduce the severity of the symptoms.
Bromelain is a type of enzyme that is found in pineapples that helps break down protein. When given with other supplements, it can help lower the risk of your dog developing a pulmonary embolism from the dead worms.
Manufactured herbal blends are said to treat heartworms in dogs.
There are a variety of manufactured herbal blends that claim to be able to treat heartworms in dogs. While some of the ingredients, like hawthorn, garlic, and wormwood, may have some effect on heartworms, there is no scientific evidence that these products work.
It is important to note that the manufacturers of these herbal blends will not always disclose by phone whether or not their product can help with heartworm disease.
If you are interested in using one of these products, it is best to consult your veterinarian to see if the blend is a viable treatment for your dog.
While there is no one-size-fits-all answer, many people find these blends to be an affordable and effective way to treat heartworms. That is why it is important to do your research and talk to your veterinarian before starting any type of treatment plan.
Black walnuts and wormwood to treat heartworms in dogs.
There are a few different ways to treat heartworms in dogs. One is by using black walnuts and wormwood.
These herbs are known to kill the worms, but there are risks associated with using them, including vomiting and diarrhea. It is important that you talk with a veterinarian before trying any of these treatments.
While black walnuts and wormwood may be effective at treating heartworms in dogs, there are also risks associated with their use. Black walnut hulls contain juglone, which is a toxin that can damage the liver and kidneys.
Wormwood contains thujone, which can cause seizures. It is important to never use wormwood in dogs with liver or kidney problems or seizures.
The cheapest way to treat heartworms – The cost of slow-kill heartworm disease treatment.
The slow-kill method is to give the dog monthly preventatives and also give them an antibiotic called doxycycline. This approach kills the adult heartworms but not the microfilariae (larvae).
The slow kill method is an alternative that involves giving the dog a low dose of ivermectin every six months. This will slowly kill the adult heartworms as well as the larvae.
The slow kill method involves preventing new heartworms from maturing but does nothing to systematically kill the adult heartworms. While this treatment is not as effective as some of the other methods, it is still a valid option for some pet owners.
The cheapest way to treat heartworms can take months or years. During this time, pets should be kept calm and restricted in their activity. This will help reduce the stress on the pet and ensure an effective treatment.
Why should you be aware of the risks of Immiticide if you choose to treat your dog for heartworms conventionally?
Heartworm treatment is a necessary procedure for dogs, but there are risks associated with the most common medication used—Imiticide.
This drug can cause vomiting, anorexia, lung congestion, and even death in some cases. You should be aware of the risks of Immiticide before deciding to treat your dog for heartworms.
Although the risk of death is low when using immiticide, it is still a risk that pet owners should be aware of.
Immiticide is the most common way to treat heartworms in dogs, but it is not without risks. Furthermore, it is the only way that is approved by the AHS for the treatment of heartworms.
In 1.5% of cases where dogs have been treated with immiticide, they have died. For this reason, pet owners should weigh the pros and cons of using this treatment before making a decision.
When it comes to treating heartworm disease in dogs, there are only a few options. The most common is through the use of conventionally-derived immiticide injections, but these injections come with a risk for adverse reactions in some dogs.
Dogs with heartworm disease are particularly at risk for these reactions, which can be fatal.
Heartworm treatments are undoubtedly, a test of your resolve in making the best decision for your dog. It is a difficult process and yet, an extremely crucial one. Therefore, you must speak with your vet about the best option for your dog while factoring in the cost and efficacy of the treatment!
What are the risks and complications of immiticide or melarsomine medication treatment?
Melarsomine has certain unfavorable side effects, including discomfort, edoema, unwillingness to move around the injection site of the muscle, and skin irritation. Additionally, documented symptoms include vomiting, fever, fatigue, lack of appetite, and coughing. The death of mature heartworms is probably responsible for many of these symptoms.
What is the cost for heartworm tests?
The majority of heartworm tests can be completed in your veterinarian’s office, and the results may be ready in a matter of minutes. The expense of a heartworm test can range from $35 to $75.
Is an ivermectin dose effective for treating heartworms in dogs?
The fact is that ivermectin is used in the slow-kill treatment method for heartworms in dogs. While there is some anecdotal proof that suggests that this may be effective at treating heartworms, there is a lack of concrete scientific data to support it. Further, the AHS has only approved the conventional treatment that makes use of Immiticide medicines.