In the pulmonary arteries of an infected dog, the worm’s presence generates a strong inflammatory response and a tendency for blood to inappropriately clot. If enough worms are present, your pet’s heart must work extra hard to pump blood through plugged arteries. Over time, severe lung and heart disease will develop and lead to death.
Renovated in October 2007, with valuable funding from private donors and foundations, Animal Humane’s Clinic also provides quality medical care for the 5,300 homeless pets that we shelter annually—many of whom will require spay/neuter, medical and behavior services in addition to abundant amounts of TLC. We also hold monthly Vaccination Clinics open to the general public the first Friday of each month.
Because of where parasites live and the problems they cause in your dog’s body, treatment can be extremely dangerous and painful to your pet. If the heartworms have started to cause changes in the heart and lungs, the effects are irreversible. For instance, if the heart is starting to enlarge and not work well because of the worms, your dog will always have this heart condition, even if the worms are killed.
While preventive medication is affordable, treatment can be very expensive and involves blood work, chest X-rays, oral medications, muscle injections and confinement to a small area for several months while being treated.