What are the Options for Treating Heartworm in Dogs?

Heartworm is one of the most common diseases that can affect pets like your dogs. These are parasites that can be found in your pet’s heart, a fact that makes it a dangerous disease especially if not treated right away. The occurrence of this disease is common in places with warmer climates where the population of mosquitoes is high. The good thing is the options for heartworm treatment are wide. It is basically categorized in two groups, the standard preventive treatments and natural treatments and remedies.

One Thing You Need to be Aware of When Treating Heartworm

The treatment is naturally expensive and complicated. More importantly, it can be dangerous for the health of your pet. Treatments are dangerous because as the worms die, your pet also becomes at risk of dying. Strong treatments can bring this kind of risk. That is why it is emphasized just how important it is to get your dog diagnosed first before starting any treatment.

Treatment for Animals Diagnosed with Heartworms

Treatment may be recommended once your pet is diagnosed with the disease. However, it is a must for the functions of your pet’s kidney, heart and liver to be evaluated first before any treatment should be performed. The purpose of this is to evaluate how risky the treatment is for your pet.

The adult worms are typically killed using an arsenic-based compound. A popular example of this is the Immiticide which is administered to pets in a series of 3 injections. This arsenic-based compound is the only approved drug in the US today for treating heartworm due to its higher efficiency levels and fewer side effects.

Pets are prescribed to have complete rest for several weeks once treatment is done. This rest period will ensure that their body is able to absorb the dead heartworms well without resulting to any side effects. Not following the vet’s orders may lead to respiratory failure once the dead worms travel to your pet’s lungs, or blocked artery, embolism, and worse, death.

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The treatment involves two phases, and it takes several weeks to complete them. One of the treatments is intended to kill adult worms while the other is meant to eliminate the baby heartworms or microfilaria. Your pet’s health and the severity of the infection are two factors used to determine which of the treatments should be performed first. Certain heartworm tests are then conducted upon the completion of the treatments. Receiving a negative result is an indication that the treatment is successful.

Other available treatments that may be prescribed include surgical removal of the worms. This is often prescribed in cases when the infection is already advanced.

Natural Ways to Treat Heartworm

•    Black Walnut – Black walnut can pass through your pet’s stomach as well as their blood systems. It helps naturally treat the disease by killing the mosquito larvae before it can even reach the maturity stage and start filling the heart. You can give your dog some black walnut to consume at least two times a day to achieve this effect.
•    Cloves – This remedy is known for its anti-parasitic properties which help treat heartworms in two ways. It effectively kills and prevents further growth of the adult worms. Consumption of at least two cloves every day can bring such effects.
•    Lemon Juice – What make it effective as a heartworm remedy is its high levels of antibacterial properties. You can either mix the juice in the water your pet drinks or squeeze it into their mouth.
•    Carrots – Carrots also have anti-parasitic properties that make it effective in fighting against heartworms. Daily consumption of this anti-parasitic food can already help eliminate the heartworms present in your pet’s body.

It’s been said above that heartworm treatments can be dangerous, which makes prevention the best means to lower your pet’s risk of developing the disease. The best way you can get started with it is by bringing your most loved dog to the veterinarian every year to get its needed injection.